Image Credit: Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger
Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries Jr. of Somerset County, NJ, and former New Jersey secretary of state, made headlines this week after taking a fiery stand against issuers of credit cards who continue to target borrowers with subprime credit. To ignite his protest against the practice of predatory lending, he literally set aflame dozens of card offers in a bucket outdoors.
NJ Pastor Sets Fire to Offers for Credit Cards
Soaries surprised his community this week when he made a bold statement against predatory financial practices. In an effort to protect members of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Franklin Township, he took dozens of offers for credit cards, placed them in a bucket and lit them on fire.
He explained that his purpose was to show defiance against credit card companies that target subprime credit borrowers, according to The Star-Ledger. Though companies halted the practice of soliciting borrowers with questionable credit, they recently revealed their intention to begin again.
Soaries said he doesn’t want his church members to fall into the trap companies set for borrowers with low credit scores.
“The time has come for us to stop making people rich off of our ignorance,” Soaries told the crowd.
Improve Subprime Credit with Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is an issue for many Americans due to a lack of financial education in the country. Most states do not require schools to provide students with personal finance courses before graduating, resulting in many adults entering a financially-driven society with no education to back their decisions.
Soaries expressed the importance of learning how money works in this country and how to become more financially independent.
He explained that over the past seven years he has been teaching churchgoers about financial planning when he isn’t preaching. He has also worked with other churches and businesses in the New Jersey community to create lessons about becoming debt-free.
The symbolic act of burning credit card offers is one way to get the message across that people who lack financial literacy are being victimized by companies only looking to make a profit. He wasn’t certain how many credit card offers were torched during his protest, but noted that 38 were contributed by one person.
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