Superior Debt Relief representative teaches high school students dangers of debt

Certified debt arbitrator Jamie Orth volunteers to educate youth about personal finances
(PR NewsChannel) / March 26, 2012 / FORT COLLINS, Colo.  

Superior Debt Relief logoUnsatisfied with the financial education she received in high school, Superior Debt Relief Services member services representative Jamie Orth decided rather than complain, she’d do something about it. The mother of three didn’t want her daughters making the same mistakes she had with credit cards. She started volunteering at local Windsor High School three years ago to give a lesson on the use and abuse of credit. This tradition has now become a staple in the curriculum.

Orth, a certified debt arbitrator of the debt relief company Superior Debt Relief Services, taught the class for the fourth time last semester. She showed a room full of awed 18-year-olds, many of whom already carried cards, how easy it is to get into a cycle of debt and how much harder it is to get out of it. The presentation covered the prevalence of credit cards, how to read a statement, what a credit score is, and why plastic makes it even more important to stick to a budget.

“Don’t let the fear of being embarrassed change what’s in your wallet from what’s in your budget,” she said to the crowd of high school students about letting their peers determine their spending and the dangers of credit card debt. In a recent interview with Orth, she shared why she was inspired to start the tradition.

Q: Is this something you were taught in high school?
Orth: I was not taught this in high school, but the class “Life Management” at Windsor is everything that every adult always wishes they knew before they had to know it. It teaches about credit, buying cars, smart shopping, etc. If I could, I would make everyone take this class!

Q: What made you want to teach high school students about credit cards?  
Orth: When your kids are little, they always want you to volunteer in classes. Now that they are high school, I seemed to only be there for their sports. I figured this was a great opportunity to help out at school and talk about something I knew about. I knew this was as much for me as for them when they started asking questions and I saw the shock in their eyes.

Q: What do you think is the most shocking statistic for the students?  
Orth: The most wows from the students were from the example of the electronics store statement.  The charges were $3,500, and if they made the minimum payment suggested by the company, they would end up paying $10,000 for their debt over a 26-year period.

Q: What do you hope the students will take away from the presentation?  
Orth: I hope they will do their research but I hope they remember that people are more likely to lose sight of their budget goals when they use credit cards. People spend differently when they use a credit card.  The psychology of spending is more worrisome than what the credit cards do to you.

Q: For those without a program like the one at Windsor, are credit cards something you should teach your children about? 
Orth: Life used to be a lot easier. Cash was easy; you either had it or you didn’t.  The only time you borrowed money was to buy a house. Now, even if a parent wants to help their child, credit cards and credit scores change their rules constantly, so it’s hard to know what the answers are.  People need to be super careful about what they think they know because one day you might have been right and then someone changed the game!  We need clearer resources and a lot more education for all ages.

About Superior Debt Relief Services: Established in 1998, Superior Debt Services is a debt relief company committed to ethically helping consumers lower their credit card debt while encouraging them to develop healthy financial habits. Superior is a reputable company devoted to fighting for the consumer and the regulation of the debt settlement industry by lobbying Congress and working with the FTC for consumer advocacy legislation. 


Maggie Shafer
(888) 366-3414

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SOURCE:  Superior Debt Relief Services

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