Affinity Plus, Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer present to Rocori High School current-events class April 18

COLD SPRING, Minn. (April 19, 2017) – Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer joined Affinity Plus financial educators Tuesday, April 18, at Rocori High School in Cold Spring to discuss financial issues making headlines and the short- and long-term impact on the students.

Emmer, a Republican representing the 6th Congressional district, presented with Kate Austad, manager of Affinity Plus’ St. Cloud branch, and Stephanie Musgrove, Affinity Plus certified financial educator and business development specialist.

The trio spoke in James Herberg’s Current Events class.

Musgrove said the discussion focused on news about unethical banking practices, excessive fees and more. She and Austad described ways students can protect themselves and make smart financial choices by budgeting, setting savings goals, living within their means, and more.

The Affinity Plus representatives also discussed student loans and debt. Austad explained that student loans often are the only way young people can earn their degree and reach their goals.

As they take on debt, students should keep track of how much they borrow each year, noting that they should work closely with their financial-aid office or financial institution to estimate monthly payments after graduation. And, if possible, they should try to pay interest on that debt while in school.

“Students need to understand the financial concepts that underlie these stories and statistics. You need to understand the impact of your choices. That way you can make informed decisions throughout your life,” she said.

Emmer explained that he and his wife, Jacqueline, have steadily emphasized to their seven children the importance of saving and financial literacy throughout their lives.

"Sometimes kids – my own included – forget that the decisions they make today will affect them down the road,” Emmer said following the presentation. “I encouraged Rocori High School students to look toward their future. Planning and preparation is crucial to not only individual success, but also for the future of this nation.”

Emmer thanked Affinity Plus and Herberg for their commitment to financial literacy. “I applaud these efforts within our communities to educate our leaders of tomorrow about fiscal responsibility and am hopeful for the future of these bright students.”

NEWS PHOTO – 6th District Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer, second from right, is pictured with Rocori High School instructor James Herberg, second from left, and two Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union representatives – Kristina Wright, senior vice president of member experience, left; and Kate Austad, right, branch manager for the credit union’s St. Cloud, Minn., branch.