How Ahmed Crushed $22,000 of Debt in Just 16 Months
February 1st, 2017
Ahmed will never forget the day he finally became debt free. In May of 2016, him and his wife officially made their last payment on their $22,006.79 debt load, finally putting their financial struggles behind them.
It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it.
WHERE DID IT START?
After making the move from New Brunswick to Alberta in 2014, Ahmed was unemployed and trying to manage his debt load.
“I was paying everyone separately,” said Ahmed. “It was not easy to keep track of.”
Of his three separate loans, the interest rate totaled 56 per cent, making it nearly impossible to get ahead on payments.
“I only missed one payment, and they called me right away” said Ahmed.
Once collections started to contact him consistently regarding when he would pay back his debts, Ahmed knew it was time to seek help.
THE NEXT STEP
When asked how his life was before being debt free, he could only describe the feeling as “uncomfortable”.
Ahmed began to research his options, first going to an agency in downtown Calgary, where he was told his best option would be bankruptcy.
Ahmed knew right away that bankruptcy was not how he wanted to deal with his debt load. That’s when the agency told him about Money Mentors. He did his own research online and booked an appointment shortly afterward.
Upon meeting his counselor, Ahmed was told about the Orderly Payment of Debts Program. He decided to make the commitment and got to work immediately, lowering his combined interest rate by 51 percent to five.
CUTTING BACK ON SPEND
The first thing that Ahmed and his wife had to do was plan a budget. The two ranked their bills by importance, and cut other expenses that weren’t considered essential.
When Ahmed’s wife saw his situation, she immediately found a job and jumped on board to help him out. Teamwork made a massive difference for the husband and wife.
“Every time we made a payment and saw the debt go down, that meant we could save towards other goals sooner,” said Ahmed.
Originally, the OPD program had Ahmed set to have his debt paid off within five years. Instead, Ahmed knocked that deadline right out of the park, completing the program in just 16 months.
HOW DID HE DO IT?
Ahmed worked six days a week, asking his employer if there were ever any extra jobs, and also delivered pizzas in the evenings.
“Any extra income went straight into my savings account, and when I went in to pay my debts, I would tell them to empty that account towards the debts,” he said.
He also explained that Money Mentors free online courses were an awesome way to learn money habits and gain financial information that is hard to find elsewhere.
BECOMING DEBT FREE
“It felt like receiving a new diploma,” joked Ahmed when talking about how he felt the day they made their last payment to the creditors. “It was like you were studying so hard and finally finished with an A+.”
The first thing him and his wife did once paying off debt was start their own side business to help increase their income among other things.
They also started to regularly contribute to their RRSP account, although their largest financial goal is to buy a home, which they hope to do soon.
His advice to someone going through the same situation is to reach out for help, and “find a guide to help you focus”. Ahmed’s stellar work ethic is something that lead him to successfully completing the program 44 months early, and not a day too soon.
Money Mentors would like to thank Ahmed for coming forward and sharing his story, and also give some 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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