Maxed Out

Looking for a family movie to watch?  I’ve got a great suggestion for you.


It’s not a typical action flick, a romantic comedy, or a thriller – even though there is a predator involved.


No, this movie is a financial services cult classic.  I say that because it could inspire substantial returns for you and your family – if watched at the right time.


I’m talking about Maxed Out – a documentary on predatory lending.  It’s a classic all right, as in it was produced in 2006 over 15 years ago. But its message today for your kids or grandkids is even more important now. 


Maxed Out takes a hard look at the credit card industry.   And it deserves to be looked at because Credit Cards Affect our Brains – and Our Spending according to the Wall Street Journal.


As for the movie, it shows how the industry can be highly predatory.  In doing so it scares viewers out of taking on debt – particularly utilizing cards for consumer purchases. 


The Story (and why we wrote this story)


Here’s a story, one of our team members shared with me on how it changed his family for the better. 


“When my son was about 15. He started to get interested in money. 


So having seen the documentary before, I told him that if he sat down or watched it with me, it would save him $10’s of thousands over the long run.  As skeptical as 15 year olds are, he was intrigued by the idea of saving all that money. 


He sat through the film somewhat astonished. “That should be illegal,” he said at the time.


That was 15 years ago now and today, he’s a successful millennial with his own house, tens of thousands in savings and not a penny of credit card debt. 


I credit that movie for a large part of his success to date.”


I’ve Learned


Here’s what I’ve come to learn. There is a teen-aged formative period of life. It’s typically from the early to mid-teens when emotion plays an outsized role in our lives. 


These are the years where we form our opinions about what is right and wrong, what we like etc.  We typically hang on to these beliefs and tastes for the rest of our lives. It’s probably why you think that the music you listened to as a teen is still better than anything that’s come out since.


In this case, getting a teen to watch unscrupulous credit card companies wrangle unsuspecting people into high-interest debt (that is designed to almost never go away) not only helped the boy but the family as a whole.


They can largely rest assured that because he was scared straight at an early age (and developed emotions around what he didn’t want to happen), he’ll likely be financially responsible for life. 


That means stability for both the young man and his parents.   Because he learned this at a young age, before becoming a big consumer, they’re unlikely to have to ever bail him out of a bad financial situation. 


This stuff should be taught in school but it isn’t, so we need to take it into our own hands.  


Take some time to sit down and watch the movie. It’s free on YouTube, available on DVD or streams on Amazon.  Then think about who you know that you and Maxed Out can help influence for the better.


Note:  We chose the header graphic specifically.  It shows the $8 Trillion in U.S. National Debt that was outstanding when the film was first released in 2006.  Today it stands at $28 Trillion.


About The Author

Schneider Content Team
Our research advisory team that helps keep us ahead so we can do the same for you.