Amazing! How Chris Paid off $47,000 of Consumer Debt in 5 Years
May 26th, 2016
If you were to look back at where you were just 5 short years ago, what would you see? For past Money Mentors client Chris, it was struggling to manage a $47,000 pile of consumer debt combined with a whole lot of stress.
Today Chris lives his life debt free, and thanks his financial counsellor, Katherine, for his success.
A SNOWBALL EFFECT
After building a large amount of debt over a 6 year period, Chris realized it was time to seek help. He explained how large his payments became each month, and said it was time to make a change.
“I kind of realized it was only going in one direction, and that it wouldn’t end well unless I did something about it.”
Chris had obtained a considerable amount of credit card debt, combined with other types of loans. He said that the debt accrued through a collection of bad habits.
“We took some vacations that we shouldn’t have taken,” said Chris. “And the banks had a habit of increasing my credit limit. A $3000 limit turned into a $15,000 limit without me even asking.”
After a certain point, the interest rates sky-rocketed, and Chris was only able to cover the minimum payments.
“After I had paid my mortgage and utilities each month, I barely had enough to cover the rest. The interest alone had reached $2000 per month,” said Chris.
“Towards the end, certain minimum payments get missed, and then the phone started ringing.”
ASKING FOR HELP
Chris was set up with an appointment to meet his soon-to-be Financial Counsellor, Katherine Anderson. The two decided that the best course of action for Chris, would be Money Mentors Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program.
“We went over everything. We laid out the options. She gave me some very good advice that may not have felt natural, but I put my faith in her,” said Chris. “Katherine advised me to make extra payments as I could.”
Which is exactly what he did. Whenever Chris had a windfall of even $50, he would login to the website and make the extra payment. His favorite part of the OPD program was having the ability to go online and see the numbers decrease each month.
“It was great motivation,” said Chris. “There were months when I paid large amounts and there were months where I just paid the minimum.”
Over the 5 years Chris was on the program, he visited Katherine every 6 months to keep updated.
“So many things can change in that time,” said Chris, who went through two career changes, a new vehicle, and a marriage while on the OPD program. “Katherine was able to help me figure out those things financially.”
After making his last payment in January 2016, Chris said the feeling was great.
“I didn’t want to go through a consumer proposal or bankruptcy. I wanted to pay off the debt,” said Chris.
“And it was a huge weight off my shoulders, followed by a “now what do I do?” he joked.
Keeping in line with his new financial goals and management, Chris makes the same payments he used to put towards debt, into savings. Among saving up to purchase a new home and rebuilding his credit, Chris is looking forward to living his life consumer debt-free.
His advice to others going through the same?
“Talking to someone at Money Mentors isn’t as bad as talking to someone at a collections agency,” said Chris.
“It’s free, and there is no pressure. My counsellor told me this is how you do it without Money Mentors, and this is how you do it with Money Mentors. The decision was left up to me.”
Chris also suggested that if you are unsure about making the commitment, to first check out one of the free Financial Fitness classes that Money Mentors offers.
“You can go anonymously, and first gauge whether the organization will be right for you,” said Chris. “Bottom line is that it’s free advice.”
Money Mentors would like to thank Chris for coming forward and sharing his story, and also offer an enormous congratulations on becoming debt free!
If you would like to share your story, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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