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Light at the end of the tunnel

Why I Chose a DMP Over Bankruptcy

LSS helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I went through a divorce in 2002 and obtained custody of my three young daughters. Going from a two income household to one was a huge change for me, especially with three kids. The expenses associated with being a single parent started piling up and I got to the point where every bill went on my credit card. Medical debt, car breaking down, etc. I soon built up a large amount of credit card debt. I started looking for some sort of solution with my problem because while I was able to make all the payments, I started to notice the strain. I eventually started working three jobs. I managed a mattress store during the day (10 am to 9 pm) and then I would make deliveries three days a week after work. I would literally strap a mattress to the top of my car for a delivery. I was willing to do whatever it took to stay current on my bills and pay off my debt. I eventually added a third job. I would get up a 1:45 am five days a week and deliver newspapers. I finally realized I was doing all of this and it wasn’t working. At this point the credit card companies began raising my interest rates. I felt like everything was spinning out of control. I was getting to the point where I would need to do something drastic…like bankruptcy. And I didn’t want to. I wanted to pay off my debt. And I began seeing all of the slimy bankruptcy commercials for the bad places and I knew it wasn’t for me. They were in it for themselves and not to help people like me. And I also had amazing credit because I had never been late on a payment and I did not want to mess that up.

In July of 2009 someone at my church told me about LSS Financial Counseling. I came to my first appointment and met with Financial Counselor Pat Segar. Pat explained who LSS was and what they did. She helped me prepare a budget and figure out what changes and cutbacks I could make to see changes in my situation. For example, I was paying a lot of money each month to rent. We discussed my options as a first time home buyer and I eventually bought a house and got the Obama Stimulus and I now save a lot of money each month. My budget each month went from barely breaking even to a surplus! I met with Pat again in November of 2009 and started a Debt Management Plan to pay off my credit card debt. My monthly payment of $633 would have me debt free in 59 months and over that period I would save an estimated $8000 in interest!

I have now been on the DMP for almost 2 ½ years. It has been very hard at times to make the monthly debt payment but I feel pride in knowing that I am paying off my debt legitimately. I love that LSS is willing to work with me. And even more, I love that the credit card companies are willing to work with LSS. I completely trust LSS to work on my behalf. And it was amazing to have my interest rate lowered! Once I am done with my DMP I plan to start an emergency savings and use that money for my retirement years. No more paper route for me!

LSS helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

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