Business instructor eager to share financial skills

They may be well-schooled in the three Rs, but the big C is another matter. A poor understanding of credit often lands young people in trouble when they start dealing with student loans, credit cards, lines of credit and other debt obligations, said Patrick O’Meara, who teaches at Red Deer College’s Donald School of Business.

RDC business administration and commerce instructor Patrick O’Meara with the draft of a textbook he has written.

They may be well-schooled in the three Rs, but the big C is another matter.

A poor understanding of credit often lands young people in trouble when they start dealing with student loans, credit cards, lines of credit and other debt obligations, said Patrick O’Meara, who teaches at Red Deer College’s Donald School of Business. That can include unmanageable levels of debt when they graduate, or a bad credit rating that creates barriers to car or home ownership.

O’Meara hopes to increase students’ knowledge about responsible borrowing — and lending — through a textbook he’s currently writing.

Titled Fundamentals of Consumer Credit in Canada, it will cover such topics as interest rates, credit bureau reports, the five Cs of credit (character, capacity, capital, collateral and conditions — with common sense a sixth C O’Meara likes to use), and credit products like credit cards, short-term loans, payday loans, term loans, car leases, and mortgages, including reverse mortgages.

The text should be ready by fall, he said, and will be used in the college’s consumer credit course. O’Meara is hopeful it will find its way into classrooms in other colleges, universities and high schools, and perhaps benefit non-students as well.

“Anybody could certainly pick it up and I’m sure get some value out of it.”

That’s because knowledge is power when it comes to credit.

“Debt can be a good thing; debt can be a bad thing,” said O’Meara. “You have to find a way to properly integrate it into your financial life.”

Fundamentals of Consumer Credit in Canada will be published through MuchLearning, which produces hard copy and online materials — including some available on a subscription basis.

“Traditional textbooks can be very expensive for students,” he said, adding that MuchLearning provides alternatives to traditional textbooks that many young people prefer.

“My real goal is to be able to develop material so they can hook in with their iPods and be able to download it.”

O’Meara has taught at Red Deer College for 31/2 years and is co-ordinator of its financial services diploma program. He also has plenty of experience in the banking sector, including stints at TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank and CIBC.

It was while earning his master’s degree from Niagara University in New York state that O’Meara received a nudge toward his current career.

The director of the university’s MBA program, whom O’Meara worked for, suggested he consider the priesthood or teaching. O’Meara opted for the latter. Fundamentals of Consumer Credit in Canada will be his first textbook.

“I’ve learned that it’s not as easy as just sitting down at a computer and typing.”

O’Meara already had a comprehensive set of course materials on the topic. And he’s been quick to invite feedback from others, including his students.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read