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Cheryl Takes Control of Her Overspending and Her Debt

Cheryl didn’t bat an eyelash when she was gradually racking up charges on her credit cards, until the balances caught up to her.

Consolidated Credit client Cheryl Danyow

Overspending becomes a habit very quickly, especially when it comes to credit cards. Many people often look at credit cards as blank checks that they can take their time paying off. That may explain why credit card balances increased by $17 billion in the third quarter of 2021 alone. People took great strides to avoid overspending during the pandemic, but as things opened back up, overspending on credit cards has rapidly increased again.

It’s a trap that Cheryl understands all too well. Credit cards gave her an easy way to overspend on items that weren’t in her budget. But eventually, it caught up with her. Here is Cheryl’s debt story. If you’re facing a similar situation with overspending, call (844) 276-1544 for a free debt and budget evaluation.

Cheryl’s big debt problem came on gradually with overspending…

Cheryl didn’t think much of her debt because she was gradually racking up the charges. So long as she wasn’t charging huge sums, she felt she could get by. But before she knew it, she lost control.

“It was gradual spending throughout a couple years that just got out of control. Then I didn’t know how to catch up.”

This is a common challenge for consumers because when your debt is out of sight it is also out of mind. You may not even note the balance on your statements. You just make the minimum payment and move on. You don’t really notice overspending is a problem until your balances get so high that the minimum payments start to be more than you can handle.

Her debt made her feel helpless…

Cheryl felt a mixture of emotions when she took a hard look at her balances and realized her debt had become such a big problem. She had over $15,000 in credit card debt spread over five credit cards.

“I felt frustrated and defeated that I was never going to get control of my debt, so I just continued to spend with the cards.”

As the interest charges piled on, Cheryl found it more and more difficult to whittle down her debt. The more she tried to pay the debt off, the more it seemed to sap away at her income. And that’s when she realized she was in over her head and she needed some guidance.

Cheryl realized she needed help, so she looked online…

So, she did what any savvy researcher does and headed straight to a search engine to begin her research on debt solutions. After sifting through a few links and checking company ratings on the Better Business Bureau, she landed on what she deemed was a trustworthy non-profit.

“I learned about Consolidated Credit through an online search. I looked at several websites and looking into the company through BBB it has a 4.75% rating, so I was confident in enrolling into the program.”

She talked to a credit counselor and enrolled that day…

Once Cheryl spoke to a certified credit counselor for free over the phone, she knew she had made the right choice. The counselor provided a full debt and budget evaluation to help better understand her situation. Together, they set a realistic budget and determined she could pay off her debt faster through a debt management program. She’d save time and money.

After her credit counseling session, Cheryl felt a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

“I felt a huge relief and my stress level dropped drastically after I enrolled.”

Cheryl enrolled all five of her credit cards into our debt management program. Cheryl’s plan was set to take just 48 payments to pay off her debt in full. Then the team got to work contacting her creditors. We worked with them to lower Cheryl’s interest rates and stop the fees that were being applied to her balances.

“They were able to drop my interest rate to half of what it was before, and a couple dropped more, while one card’s interest rate dropped to 0%.”

The relief was immediate, especially when her rates dropped…

When you stop wasting so much money just to cover accrued interest charges, it becomes much easier to pay off your debts as Cheryl came to find out. Think of it this way, if you are making minimum payments to catch up on your debts, it becomes a never-ending cycle of playing catchup.

For example, Cheryl had $15,000 in debt and at an average APR of 17%. With just minimum payments, it would have taken Cheryl 20 years (241 payments to be exact) to pay off her debt. In that time, she’d pay a total of $13,066.53 in interest charges, meaning she would almost double her costs.

As you can see minimum payments are basically ineffective when it comes to getting out of debt. Instead, minimum payments end up costing you more money in the long run than you could have been spending elsewhere.

Cheryl learned how to spend responsibly…

During her program, Cheryl quickly learned to be responsible with her spending habits because she could no longer use her credit cards after she enrolled. You quickly adapt when you are incapable of racking up charges on your credit cards; you learn to become more financially responsible.

And that is exactly what happened to Cheryl. She became a whole new person who no longer relied on credit cards, and to this day she makes sure to keep an eye on her balances.

“I learned how to manage my debt and spending through the program. It’s a life-long skill I wish I had achieved many years ago. Every day I watch how I spend my money and I’ve learned how to spend within my means. Going forward I feel like I am able to be very responsible with my debt.”

And as a result, Cheryl paid off her debt early…

Cheryl took the lessons she learned from our counselors and financial coaches and put them into practice. She took control of her spending habits and did her utmost to get of a debt hole as quickly as possible.

“When I started the program, it was going to be a 4-year payment plan, but with my newfound strength to handle the debt and an end in sight I was able to add extra to the debt. I was able to pay it off in about 2 years.”

That is a huge accomplishment! And we want to take the time and commend Cheryl for her efforts in paying off her debt two years earlier than anticipated. Not only did Cheryl cut down on spending and decrease her debts in half the time, she also raised her credit score.

“My credit score before was 567, and now over two years later my credit score is 727!”

Cheryl’s learned some life-long skills…

Cheryl wants people to know:

“I would recommend Consolidated Credit to anyone looking for debt relief! You are not alone in this situation and there is no shame in receiving help to get out of credit card debt.”

So, take heed from someone who conquered her problems with overspending and debt. Learning to spend responsibly and managing your debt are skills that always come in handy. And avoid falling into overspending patterns because they will drag you down quicker the more you struggle, much like quicksand.

“I couldn’t have managed my debt without Consolidated Credit!”

She has this advice for other people with overspending issues…

We know that Cheryl’s predicament is more common than people think. That’s why we wanted to bring attention to what we believe is a common challenge that consumers face: overspending.

Also, know that there are ways of handling debt challenges that do not require you to take on new debt or damage your credit to do it. It’s okay to ask for help every now and then.

That’s why Cheryl wanted to share some final words of wisdom.

“Take control of your debt and don’t be afraid to get help with managing debt through Consolidated Credit.”

Get the help you need to pay off your debt and learn to control overspending.