While still holding his last payment receipt in hand and wearing one of the brightest smiles ever, Marcus strode out of the Consolidated Credit headquarters. The owner of his own company, he’d wanted to make his last debt management program payment the old fashion way—in person.
Marcus says if he can do it, anyone else can, too. And it’s worth the effort because there’s no better feeling than celebrating freedom from debt.
The recession was the tipping point…
Marcus says things fell apart during the recession. He admits that he had mismanaged his money prior to the downturn and that his finances simply weren’t prepared for the rainy days.
“All my issues were caused by money mismanagement and then the recession when it crashed. I just was using my credit card for things—mismanaging my money, mismanaging my finances, and then there was a lot of chaos and panic at the time.”
Marcus didn’t want to take the bankruptcy route…
Marcus As a small business owner, Marcus struggled to keep his business and his own finances afloat as the economy took a nosedive. He managed to keep his business open, but he was taking on personal debt to do it.
“At the time, I wasn’t the only one in trouble. Many of my friends and colleagues were also suffering, but they decided to take the bankruptcy route.”
Marcus didn’t feel that that was the right thing to do. He’d always prided himself on keeping up with his obligations and paying what he owed. So, making good on his promise to repay his debt was his top priority.
“I wanted to pay the people who’d lent me the money. just thought the right thing to do was to pay them back.”
Marcus did his research online, but went local for help…
Marcus explained that he really wasn’t sure what kind of help he needed. He knew he wanted to avoid bankruptcy, but he didn’t really know what his alternatives were. So, he went online and started researching debt relief options. Debt settlement wasn’t for him because he wanted to repay everything he owed.
Nonprofit credit counseling seemed like the fit. The program that credit counseling organizations offered would help him pay back everything he owed in full in a more efficient and cost-effective way. That’s when he found Consolidated Credit.
“I went online and started looking through options. I decided to take the route of credit counseling. I looked through quite a few of the companies, but I liked the fact that Consolidated Credit is a local company. I can actually walk through the door and into the building and see that it actually exists.”
Consolidated Credit is a national credit counseling service. We’re one of the largest and oldest nonprofit credit counseling services in the U.S. but we are based in South Florida. Marcus was happy he could get help locally.
Marcus called to get free credit counseling…
Once he decided on Consolidated Credit, Marcus called to get a free debt and budget evaluation from a certified credit counselor.
“I spoke to a gentleman named Esteban. He spoke to me very calmly and was very informed. He answered my questions very, very well and put me at ease so I went ahead and did what I had to do.”
During Marcus’ free credit counseling session, he and Esteban reviewed his expenses and set up a budget. Esteban explained all the options Marcus had for debt relief in detail. Then Marcus asked all the questions he had so he could be fully informed as he decided how to get out of debt.
Together, they confirmed that Marcus could pay his debt back in full using a debt management program. The program is a consolidation plan that Consolidated Credit could oversee for him. It would combine his debts into one affordable monthly payment. Then the credit counseling team would work with creditors to reduce or eliminate interest and stop penalties on his accounts.
The program would allow Marcus to pay back everything he owed and get out of debt while saving time and money. Marcus decided to sign up that day.
Because he went through Consolidated Credit, Marcus says he was able to put some money away while he was paying off his debt and buy himself a condo. He said it was great that the program didn’t prevent him from buying a home while he was enrolled. Bankruptcy would have.
Marcus describes the relief of freedom from debt…
Getting back to where we started, Marcus came to the office to make his last program payment. Then he took some time to talk to us about his experience and the feeling of celebrating freedom from debt.
Marcus will stay away from credit cards for now…
When Marcus enrolled in the program, his accounts were frozen. He learned how to live without relying on credit cards, and he says that was very freeing feeling. As each card was paid off, the account was closed in good standing. And Marcus says he doesn’t miss them. Now that he’s learned he can live without credit cards, he has no intention of going back just yet.
“I don’t need debt in my life. Because of the program, I’m going to be extremely careful with credit now. It’s not that you don’t realize it when you’re into it but it’s just that everything can fall apart so quickly. I’m going to try and manage some type of credit in my life but I will be extremely careful.”
He says if he ever makes the decision to get a credit card it will be strictly for business transactions. But even for his business, Marcus isn’t sure business credit cards are the right way to go. He’s weighing his options carefully.
“I have been offered a credit card through my business. But I haven’t decided yet because I’m being cautious and responsible.”
Marcus wants to be a voice to help others find freedom from debt…
Marcus wasn’t shy when we asked him if he wanted to talk to us about his journey to get out of debt. He immediately agreed to sit down and talk to us to share his story.
And he says he’s already started recommending Consolidated Credit to others. Some of his friends have also been facing challenges with debt, so he’s pointed them in the direction that he found.
“I’ve given them the number to call with no hesitation whatsoever. I have very good feelings about the whole process, and I have tremendous respect for the program.”
Marcus is going to celebrate his newfound freedom from debt…
As we finished up the interview, we asked Marcus how he planned to celebrate freedom from debt.
“I have a little wine cellar in my condo. In there is a 96 Saint Emilion that I think I’m going to open tonight and watch a great movie.”
We wish Marcus the best as he leaves our office to enjoy the feeling of being debt-free.
Find the solution you need to achieve freedom from debt…
Are you carrying the heavy burden of credit card debt? Are you wondering whether bankruptcy or credit counselling is the right route to manage your debt problems? If so call Consolidated Credit free at (844) 276-1544. Our certified credit counselors are standing by to answer your questions. Or take the first step online with a request for a Free Debt Analysis.
Get a free debt and budget evluation to find the best way to achieve freedom from debt.