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It was 2011 when Sarah first walked into the Money Mentors office and made the decision to join the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program and get her financial life in order.
She had heard about Money Mentors from her mother, who heard about it from another friend.
Sarah said it seemed like the right opportunity had finally come along. With her nearly $25,000 worth of consumer debt and student loans, she knew that she could no longer avoid the collections calls and interest rates.
“It was overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do,” said Sarah. “I was actually answering the phone saying, ‘I can’t pay you.’”
Sarah felt that going bankrupt for less than $30,000 of debt felt wrong, and decided to opt for the OPD program instead—paying back all her creditors in full.
Not only did Sarah have multiple credit cards with interest rates as high as 29%, she also had over $15,000 remaining in student loans.
“We used my credit for everything. The car payments, a new TV, just everything,” said Sarah.
Her partner at the time was working, while Sarah stayed home to support their children. It was hard to manage all the bills, and find a way to pay without any sort of income of her own.
“It was horrible. I was getting calls everyday,” she said. “It’s got to be achievable. And it wasn’t.”
Sarah said that changed the day she went into Money Mentors. Things went from unachievable, to reachable.
Sarah’s counsellor, Jason, set her up for success with a realistic budget and an outline that would take her from $24,000 owing to debt-free.
Sarah explained that among other things, the meetings with her counsellor were one of the most effective parts of the program.
“Money Mentors’ financial education also really helped,” said Sarah. “Those really put things into perspective with prioritizing and repaying your debts.”
During the last six months of payments, Sarah’s motivation was seeing the numbers decrease and realizing she was almost there.
On July 4th, 2017, Sarah made her last payment and officially walked away from many years of stress and struggle.
She said that on that day, she finally felt free.
Now that Sarah is debt-free, she manages a budget and has open conversations with her new partner about how they can balance life and their finances.
“My kids are all wanting to go into sports programs, so it’s really important that we watch our spending.”
Sarah’s mom has been a huge supporter, helping her children get set up for financial success, and guiding Sarah whenever a windfall comes her way.
“She’s very helpful,” said Sarah, who now sees how important it is to have a support system and a core group of people who are understanding of her financial goals.
“Things have changed so much because now we can actually look at the future. Before, there was no future, there were no savings. Now we can actually save for things like a house and a family vacation.”
We asked Sarah to share whether there was anything she’d like to tell people about Money Mentors or the OPD program that they may not know, and she shared her thoughts on how flexible the program is:
“We made a plan at the beginning, but things change over 5 years. When payments needed to go up or come down, it was very accommodating.”
Sarah said she’d likely go back to the website and refresh her memory with some of Money Mentors free online courses to ensure she stays on track. However, she now feels confident in her financial situation.
“I’m more aware, and I’m more knowledgeable now.”
Money Mentors would like to thank Sarah for sharing her story. Congratulations on becoming debt-free!
If you would like to share your story, please contact our Marketing Manager.