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It was 2012 when Teresa finally hit a wall with her $106,497 debt load. After trying a company that ended up losing her money rather than helping her repay her debts owed, she was told to try Money Mentors. After struggling to make minimum payments on her credit cards and falling into some frivolous spending patterns, it was time to make a change.
In just one session with her counsellor, Iris, Teresa knew that this was going to be a good fit.
Teresa’s counsellor reviewed all options and concluded that the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program would work.
“I was doing everything in my power to avoid bankruptcy,” said Teresa.
This meant that the OPD program was going to provide her with everything she was hoping for.
Upon going through a divorce and making child support payments, Teresa’s credit cards began to be where spending occurred most.
“It was a combination of things,” said Teresa, speaking about the type of debt she collected. “I was keeping up with bills, but also, if I had a bad day I would go shopping to buy something I really didn’t need.”
When an emergency arose, that was the time Teresa would pull out her credit cards.
“My credit cards were the emergency fund until they became maxed out,” she said.
Teresa always made bills a priority, but nothing was ever put aside if any money was leftover.
When asked how being in such a large amount of debt felt, Teresa simply said “overwhelming.”
“It was very stressful all of the time,” said Teresa, “knowing that even with making minimum payments I wasn’t making any headway.”
That all started to change once Teresa met her counsellor, and started on the program at Money Mentors.
Although difficult to cut herself off from credit, she found that after about a year, it started to feel easy. Teresa said she learned how to budget and how to maintain a budget just by participating in our free online and in person courses.
The best piece of advice she ever received from her counsellor was to quit the impulse shopping.
“Walk away, think about it. If it really is a need and the money is there, fine. Otherwise you can live without it.”
Now that her final payment has gone through, Teresa can proudly say she is debt-free.
“It feels fantastic,” she said. “I now have an additional income each month to build a savings account rather than put that money towards debt repayment.”
Finally, free from the minimum payments and constant stress, she is ready to prepare for the next stage of her life. Teresa wants to do some work on her forever home and plans to do a little bit of travelling, which was never an option before her time on the OPD program.
“I feel at peace with the fact that when I do get to retirement age I might be able to retire instead of the freedom 85 plan I say I’m on all the time,” joked Teresa. “I’ve already recommended tons of friends to Money Mentors, even if someone’s not in that situation financially. It’s beneficial for everyone.”
Money Mentors would like to thank Teresa for sharing her story. Congratulations on becoming debt-free!
If you would like to share your story, please contact our Marketing Manager.