When Carolyn turned 18, she received her first student credit card. While at first she responsibly only bought things she could afford and paid off her bills on time, it didn’t take long for her spending to snowball.
Triggered by her emotions, Carolyn started directing her limited funds towards things like eating out and buying new clothes to make her feel happy―something all of us have been guilty of at one point.
Carolyn’s credit card limit had increased to an unmanageable $5,000 by the time she turned 23. But that wasn’t the end of her financial struggles.
“My bank soon offered me a line of credit, which I at first declined because I thought it would be a bad financial decision,” she admitted. “But they were very insistent, saying it would be good to have for emergencies. I didn’t understand finances back then and he made such a convincing argument that I finally agreed to a $25,000 line of credit.”
After realizing that the interest rate on her line of credit was lower than her credit card, Carolyn transferred her credit card debt over. Before she knew it, she’d quickly racked up $25,000 of debt and had no idea what to do about it.
“I remember being sick to my stomach every time I opened my mail,” Carolyn recalled. “I had such fear and anxiety just looking at my bank account, seeing the mess I’d gotten myself into.”
When Carolyn’s monthly debt payments reached $700 a month, she knew something had to be done.
“My debt was keeping me from living my life.”
While looking at her options, Carolyn was drawn to Money Mentors. Explaining that she didn’t like the idea of sharing her financial struggles with her family or getting sent down an even deeper rabbit hole by her bank, Money Mentors’ confidentiality and unbiased support spoke to her.
“My counsellor made me see that all wasn’t lost,” she said. “There was a light at the end of this tunnel. Knowing that made all the difference in the world as I began my debt-free journey on the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program.”
30 months later, Carolyn finally said goodbye to her debt and is now focusing her attention on saving for retirement and a year-long trip around the world.
Reflecting on her financial journey, Carolyn couldn’t help but be proud of how far she’d come.
“I went from this place in my life where I thought I didn’t have enough money to make ends meet, going into overdraft on my bills all the time…to learning how much things cost and how much I should expect to live on. I respect money so much more now after having gone through this journey.
“I used to dream of what my debt-free life would look like, and it seemed like such a crazy pipe dream. Now I know it’s more than achievable and I’m living it!”
And for those in a similar situation as she was, Carolyn had some advice:
“As one of my favourite quotes says, ‘If you continue down your current path, you’re bound to get where you’re headed.’ What helped me fight for my financial future was the fact that I wasn’t going to be in my twenties forever. I am going to get older and will need to rely on whatever savings I have. My debt was essentially robbing my future self.”
Money Mentors would like to thank Carolyn for sharing her story. Congratulations on becoming debt-free!
If you would like to share your story, please contact our Marketing Manager.