Life is all about those curveballs. But for Ryan, the curveballs that were thrown his way severely impacted his life in ways he didn’t expect.
After being continuously chased by creditors and seeing no end in sight to his debt, Ryan was faced with another obstacle: homelessness.
“I became homeless for a month, sleeping in my car and avoiding calls from creditors,” he reminisced. “I started thinking there was no way out.”
Ryan eventually found a second job to survive, a place to live and met a wonderful woman with who he became serious. But while everything looked better on the surface, Ryan was still faced with growing debt and no way to pay it all off.
“I had to sit myself down one day and look at the facts. I didn’t want to be that person that brings a ton of debt into a relationship, weighing heavily on our future.
“One of my coworkers was on the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program at the time and told me about it. She, too, wasn’t raised with financial sense and didn’t understand the repercussions of taking on so much credit. People are usually so ashamed of their finances, especially when things go south, but she wasn’t. She was open about her struggles, saying, ‘Yes, I made a mistake, but Money Mentors is helping me.’ It honestly sounded too good to be true, but it was the wake-up call I needed.”
After making an appointment with a Money Mentors counsellor, everything started feeling lighter. While going through his debt options in his first appointment, Ryan found a debt solution that worked for him and made the decision to join the OPD program―a decision he is thankful for to this day.
“I didn’t realize how inconvenient it would be living without a credit card while on the program!” Ryan joked. “It was sometimes awkward telling people I didn’t have one, like on business trips. But I had to remind myself that I was on the path towards fixing my mistakes. I had to learn how to be open with others and ask for other options. There is always an alternative!”
Now, five years later and a very different person than he was before calling Money Mentors, Ryan is debt-free and planning his future with his fiancée.
“Our priorities and mindsets have changed since first meeting with Money Mentors,” Ryan said. “I’ve learned to assess my wants and needs, and how to plan for emergencies. It’s surreal to think that not so long ago I was $200 away from a crippling situation and today I’m debt-free!”
Debt isn’t always an easy obstacle to face, especially when you don’t have a support system to help get you through it. Sometimes it’s easier to put your head in the sand, hoping the problem will go away or sort itself out on its own. But, unfortunately, debt doesn’t work like that.
It didn’t for Ryan, no matter how hard he tried to avoid it.
“Trust me―the sooner you act, the better,” Ryan advised. “To anyone who is in the same situation that I was in, now is the time to ask for help. Call Money Mentors.
“I know it’s not easy, but you need to know that you’re not alone in this. So many Albertans are facing the same thing as you! But it’s all about taking that first step: Admitting you made a mistake and that you need help. That’s what Money Mentors is for.”
Money Mentors would like to thank Ryan for sharing his story. Congratulations on becoming debt-free!
If you would like to share your story, please contact our Marketing Manager.