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A Success Story from Sarah

LSS has helped our marriage start with openness about finances and they continue to help us find a way to work together to set financial goals.

Four years ago, after going through a difficult divorce, I bought a house in Superior, WI for myself and my three children. It was a financial stretch but I wanted to be settled and planned on being there for a long time. I am a pastor of a local congregation in the area.

When my husband, a graphic artist, and I got married, two years ago, it was a new beginning for both of us. When we remarried we joined not only households but debt. It became overwhelming to balance bills from both of us. I had accumulated credit card debt during my earlier divorce and my spouse had a number of medical bills from the years when he was uninsured. I also have back tax debt that makes it impossible to pay my current taxes. In addition, I receive very little child support. It is very challenging to balance the money and make all the ends meet.

I had heard about the debt counseling program at LSS through my other contacts with LSS but it wasn’t until the Great Debt Paydown that we decided to give it a try. I hesitated because I know that there are people worse off than we are and I wasn’t sure our situation was desperate enough to get “free assistance”. But the Debt Paydown seemed to be made for people like us.

We met with Financial Counselor April Sanderson, bringing a list of bills and income. That same day my husband found out that he was losing his job. April worked with us on our budget, so we knew how much money we would need coming in to make ends meet. She printed out that budget with suggestions for making changes. In addition she set up our payment plan covering 7 of our bills. We both felt reassured after our first meeting. April continued to help us set up our Debt Management Plan.

Every month as the 7 bills arrived I would put them in a file and once a month we write out a money order to LSS and send it in with the bills. I love being able to send one money order payment and have LSS send repayment to my creditors. I have the ease of knowing that our debts are getting repaid faster and in full, with good credit outcomes! We have already paid off one bill and are close to paying off a second. In two more years we will have paid off all of those bills and will have that money to available to help my daughter when she starts college.

When my husband was unemployed it wasn’t always easy to make the Debt Management Program payment, but it helped to remember that our payments would be more and last longer if we were not in the program. And April reassured us that if we could not make the total amount due she would work with whatever we could send in.

I know that money is a big stress on a relationship. LSS has helped our marriage start with openness about finances and they continue to help us find a way to work together to set financial goals. I feel confident that we can pay off our debt. It feels good to put all the credit cards away and just pay cash for what we need. I must admit that I do long to shop and spend money more on occasion but having financial goals keeps me focused on what is important. We look forward to celebrating the payoff we can achieve with LSS’s help.