What People Say About Our Services
All of the stories below are from real people served by LSS Financial Counseling. While everyone has their own financial goals, each person learned to manage their finances and is working to achieve financial success.
Debt Management Plan Stories
Hear about the impact a Debt Management Plan had for couple Rod and Bonnie.
Monica Finds Peace of Mind
“I am so happy that I learned about LSS Financial Counseling. I am relieved that I now have a plan in place to become debt free and am grateful for the respect shown to me by Financial Counselor, Julie Martinez. Some of the topics I discussed with her were very private and I was quite embarrassed by my financial situation. Julie treated me with dignity and did not shame me for past spending habits that were outside my means. I appreciate the assistance that LSS has provided and I am looking forward to paying off my debt!” – Monica from Minneapolis
Cora Rebuilds After Bankruptcy
“I used to feel really confident about managing my finances. I had a very good credit score and I was always very prompt with my payments and keeping track of my finances. However, because of a number of unexpected challenges that I had no control over, my financial life changed. After foreclosure and mounting credit card debt, I ultimately decided bankruptcy was my only option. I worked with a Bankruptcy Counseling Specialist at LSS to understand the process and how to rebuild my life afterwards. Looking back, this was a very rough time in my life. It required time and effort but I appreciated working with people who were helpful and organized.
After my bankruptcy, I knew deep down that it was time to rebuild and move forward. But, like anything else, that is easier said than done. It took time to get myself together and admit that I needed more help. First, I pinpointed my goals: pay off my car loan, get a part time job and start taking college classes. I could see my financial future and I knew that I could do it but I needed a little help. I found a brochure for LSS at my local college and I felt like they could help me. My financial Counselor, Cherrish Holland, helped me understand that I was doing the right things and even taking steps in the right direction. I just needed to follow through more and commit to the changes. I felt like such a failure when I went to the appointment. When I left I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. I had direction again! Cherrish gave me ideas and a plan that I could work with. I now have a spreadsheet where I keep track of all of my finances. It took hours to lay it out for 2013 but I love it! And I also keep actual files of my expenses. Twice a year I go through all of the papers to make sure everything is up to date. I love the structure this provides me and I am not worried about surprises.
It has been three years since I filed. I am proud to say that I am a mom to an amazing eight year old daughter, working part time and attending college for Social Work. I would love to eventually become a teacher! I knew what I wanted to do and I just needed a bit of help to get there. LSS helped me take those much needed steps.” – Cora, who lives in the Willmar area
Stephan’s Home Ownership Journey
“I am so proud when I say that each month all of my bills are paid and paid on time. And I am a homeowner!”
“I reached out to LSS Financial Counseling after being turned down on a mortgage application. I wanted a home in the worst way for my family. I am married to an amazing woman and together we have two daughters who are three and 18 months old. I work as a finance manager for an automobile dealership. Being turned down for a mortgage was just the eye opener I needed. I knew my credit was in disarray and I knew it was due mainly to naiveté on my part.
When I was younger, like most young people, I did not think credit mattered. I would splurge on items that I didn’t need and would be slow to pay on the debt. As a result, my student loans went into default and I had charged off credit cards. Namely, a lack of budget and discipline got me into this financial situation. I was extremely nervous about calling someone to discuss my financial situation but I knew I needed help.
I was so naïve in my thinking that I thought my credit score would magically jump up multiple tiers when I finally caught up on my bills. Nevertheless, I was still turned down for a home loan and it really opened my eyes. I heard about LSS Financial Counseling Service through a homeowner’s workshop that I attended. I was so nervous to ask anyone for help because I did not want to be put down or lectured about my situation. I wanted to start fresh and talk about ways to move forward.
After reviewing the LSS website and reading testimonials, I decided to pick up the phone and call.
Right away I was connected to Financial Counselor Linnea Stephan. I cannot stress enough how professional she was, especially regarding the topic as deeply personal as ones’ finances. Linnea gave me the option to meet in person or have a counseling session by phone. I personally felt like a phone session sounded perfect for me. The call was completely proactive in nature, and focused on the present and building a plan for the future which was just what I needed.
Linnea proved to be extremely knowledgeable and understanding. I walked away from our meeting feeling empowered. She provided me with a plan of action, a budget and strategies for dealing with collectors. Throughout the process she never made me feel embarrassed or ashamed even when discussing outstanding bills or late medical payments. I am so thankful for that.
After my counseling session, I put the budget and action plan steps into practice. It took some time to re-build my damaged credit. But within a year, I had re-established myself, and within two years I was able to purchase my first home. We were able to pay off all our outstanding balances and we couldn’t be happier with our current financial situation. We have not missed or been late on a payment in over two years! I attribute this to the guidance, tools and advice Linnea gave us.
I wish I could say that following a budget was a piece of cake; however, that just isn’t true and every day is a work in progress. But I am so proud when I say that each month all of my bills are paid and paid on time. And I am a homeowner! My future goals include building an emergency savings!” – Stephan, who lives in the Twin Cities metro area.