About Kurt

Self-employed beginning early in life, I attended classes over a period of many years and completed a BA in psychology and then a Master of Business Administration (MBA). I didn’t know it then, but I had been a “highly nontraditional student” 20 years before the U.S. Department of Education even defined it!

Over the decades I’ve certainly made my own share of mistakes.  I’ve also benefited from unusual opportunities to study and to learn from the mistakes of others.


I have specialized training and experience in bankruptcy counseling, credit counseling, credit education, crisis intervention, housing counseling, human resources, and real estate, and have held professional certifications in four of those areas.

For seven years I was a crisis interventionist and trainer for 24/7/365 phone and in-person service. I chaired the committee for the organization’s first accreditation by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems and its first certification by American Association of Suicidology, and later served on the board of directors including one term as treasurer.

While working for the former Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Lafayette, a nonprofit COA-accredited program and member agency of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, I administered an ongoing caseload of debt management program clients and performed thousands of in-person financial counseling sessions.

Approved by the Department of Justice Executive Office for U.S. Trustees to perform bankruptcy counseling and education in accordance with federal law, I counseled nearly 1,000 bankruptcy filers, and provided debtor education for approximately 100 filers. I also provided court-ordered financial counseling and education for those convicted of check deception and for individuals reentering society following years of incarceration.

I’ve designed and conducted financial workshops for the self-employed and for employee groups in financial institutions, higher education, health care, and nonprofits.   I first taught in the college classroom in 2006, including courses in business law, business office procedures, economics, human relations, and psychology. In 2012 I began instructing a personal finance course (online & classroom) for the nation’s largest singly-accredited community college.

I’ve developed great enthusiasm for financial counseling, financial education, and for the study of consumer behavior.

Education is the key, because creditors are still going to figure out ways to get in our pockets and it’s up to us to be able to say no. The new credit card law is not going to make consumers safe. The educated consumer is going to be the key to success.

Kurt Burnett, January 2010 “Holiday credit card debt coming due” (WLFI)

April 2009 interview (WLFI)