Yvette breaks dependence on credit cards

Client profile: Yvette S.A single mom drowning in debt

Finding a way to stay afloat when $40K in credit card debt has you drowning.

A divorce, house repairs, and medical co-pays, among other things, left Yvette S. with almost $40,000 in credit card debt. The 47-year-old single mother said “she was drowning fast” and knew she needed help. While driving one day, Yvette heard a Consolidated Credit radio commercial. She had researched some other debt management companies, but she ended up calling Consolidated Credit.

“A lot of the places I called were very confusing,” she says. “Then I called Consolidated Credit and I spoke to a gentleman who explained things. He was very calm, very honest, knowledgeable, and professional.”

Life can sometimes throw curve balls, and for Yvette it was a couple that sent her scrambling for help…

“When I first started my credit counseling journey, everything financial seemed to be due all at once,” she says. “I had to forego paying my credit cards for other necessities like medical co-pays and house repairs. I took a financial hit from the divorce and loss of my ex-husband’s income and his subsequent denial to pay any of the debt we incurred during the course of our 20-year marriage. I was drowning fast! Consolidated Credit saved me financially and emotionally.”

Even though Yvette had a job, her salary wasn’t enough to take care of her family. So she had to rely on the cards…

“A lot of us just can’t function without a credit card because there are some months you just need to make ends meet,” Yvette says. “We have four kids. One of the kids gets sick, and you have five co-pays – and there goes that payment you planned on making. Or somebody needs medicine, or there’s a school activity that somebody needs $100 for. Nobody wants their kids to be that kid who couldn’t go on the class trip.”

Yvette didn’t want her kids to go without. She tried to be responsible with her money, but it didn’t always work out…

“We’d say, ‘OK, well, if we do this vacation, we can cut back here and cut back there and save $150 a month. But it never worked out that way, and all our best intentions failed us,” she says. “Later never comes, and we end up paying triple or double the amount if we had paid cash. That’s definitely something that’s insidious.”

But while Yvette thinks credit card companies are sneaky, she also thinks the “buy now pay later” phenomenon is sending many of us into debt…

Interest eats away your payments“I never think of the interest and what it adds to the price,” she admits. “It’s an instant gratification thing. Then, you try to justify it by saying, ‘I worked hard, I can get a treat.’ But you end up working twice as hard to pay for it.”

Yvette endeavored to pay down her debt but never made a dent…

“It’s like a cancer that credit card companies don’t tell you about,” she says. “It just keeps growing and growing. After a while, you look at your statement and you say, ‘Wait a second I thought this was my balance three months ago,’ and you know you didn’t make any additional purchases. That’s because they charge you $70 in interest every month. I paid $80 a month for the past five months and my principal is down by only $35?”

Yvette was sent scurrying for help…

“Before calling Consolidated Credit we were overwhelmed,” she says. “You feel like you’re running with one foot nailed to the floor – all you do is go around in circles. We tried to pay the card with the lowest balance off and take that money and put it towards the next one, but something always seems to come up.”

When she called Consolidated Credit…

“I felt a sense of relief,” she exhaled. “It was also a wake-up call. I remember when we were told what our monthly payment would be, it was so much less than the minimum payment we were making on our own and never getting ahead. We now have five months left on the program and less than a $6,000 balance. It feels so good. My stress level is much easier to manage now knowing that very soon I will be able to say I’m debt free and be able to afford to send my kids to college.”

The debt management program opened Yvette’s eyes…

“We’ve learned a lot about less-is-more and it’s not about stuff but about experiences and spending time with the people you care about. We’ve gotten to a point where we realize we have to discipline ourselves now.”

Yvette’s newly acquired financial wisdom, puts her wants and needs against each other…

“We use cash, check or debit cards for groceries and bills,” she says. “Now, before we buy, we think whether it’s going to make a difference, and if it’s necessary. It’s not about want anymore, it’s all about need. And that’s a big lesson we’ve learned.”

Yvette looks forward to becoming free of credit card debt. She has plans for that extra cash she will have in her budget once she completes the program…

“The best thing we ever did was enrolling in Consolidated Credit’s debt management program,” she rejoices. “Just the thought of having that extra $1,400 a month is exciting. I think I’ll make a couple extra mortgage payments a month to really be debt free. We’ll put a little away each month and maybe in the spring we can do Disney. It will be so nice because it will be a cash-paid vacation. That’s really exciting for us.”

Would Yvette recommend Consolidated Credit?

“Oh my goodness yes!” she says enthusiastically. “To anybody and everybody who say they have a problem. It was so easy to sign up, so simple. This journey was so rewarding!”

Consolidated Credit understands that things happen. We also know that breaking the dependency on credit cards will lead to financial freedom…

There are times when we may need to break out the credit cards to supplement our income or to cover unforeseen circumstances. Making a habit out of it can have dire consequences that may take away our financial freedom. If you’re at your wits end with credit card companies and credit card debt, and is having trouble trusting the debt management services of other companies, like Yvette, call us.

In the past 20 years Consolidated Credit has helped over 5 million consumers like you. Simply dial 1-800-320-9929 and one of our certified credit counselors will be happy to answer all your questions. You can also request a Free Debt Analysis online.

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"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

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Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

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