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From Dream Home to Debt Nightmare

Lisa’s pets destroyed her floors and walls. The repairs destroyed her credit.

Lisa loved her two giant parrots –Tantra and Ariel – but she didn’t love the way they ate. Using their beaks, they’d fling their wet pellets and other meals at the walls. And they weren’t the only destructive forces in her home. Her dog Sage had torn up the carpets.

With all that damage, Lisa knew she needed some repairs. She took the opportunity as a good excuse to remodel her entire Louisiana townhouse, from granite countertops to stainless steel appliances to laminate flooring. The renovation cost her $16,000, but she only had $6,000 saved. So, $10,000 went on her credit cards.

Then she was hit with another repair. She had to pay $6,000 to fix her roof after a monsoon.

She couldn’t pay off those balances because “the interest rates were so high, I couldn’t catch up.” Bankruptcy loomed.

“The last thing I wanted was bankruptcy,” Lisa recalls. “It’s not how I was raised.”

Depressed in her newly remodeled townhouse, she saw a commercial for Consolidated Credit.

It was impossible to maintain so many payments…

When she couldn’t pay out of pocket for the repairs, Lisa had a “creative” solution.

She put the bills on three traditional credit cards and a credit card for a popular furniture store. The monthly payments seemed doable since they were spread across so many accounts.

“I maxed all of them out doing the home renovation. I thought I was going to be able to maintain my credit score and keep up with all of the payments.”

After a few years, that hope came crashing down. There were too many payments to keep up with and the interest quickly compounded.

“I was starting to drown from all the debt that I was in, and it just kept building every month. Eventually, I wasn’t able to make even the minimum payments. I got myself in way over my head.”

She was treading in shark-infested waters…

She called Consolidated Credit’s slogan, “Debt sucks,” cheezy… and she’s not wrong. But she couldn’t get it out of her head.

She was skeptical, though. Lisa had heard of loan sharks masquerading as debt consolidation programs and didn’t want to get hurt like so many others have.

“There are so many shysters out there who prey on people who are struggling. They make it sound so good, but then they jack your interest rate up or you get charged more than you were supposed to.”

Consolidated Credit’s promise of a debt-free life was just one of those things that sounded too good to be true. She was stuck between two tough choices, bankruptcy or putting her trust in an unfamiliar company with cheezy commercials.

Lisa investigated Consolidated Credit and after reading up on reviews, she decided to dip her toe in and give them a call.

“It really made me feel a whole lot better. They were so transparent and fully explained how they work.”

Catching a lifesaver…

Just as she was ready to give up, Lisa found the help she desperately needed.

“After the Consolidated Credit staff talked to me on the phone, I felt as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.”

They consolidated thousands of dollars Lisa owed between four different creditors, putting the debt into one manageable repayment plan for her. She was able to completely pay off her debt in about three years and her credit score jumped up by 30 points.

But the journey wasn’t smooth sailing.

The pandemic hit while Lisa was about halfway through her program with Consolidated Credit. More than 8 million people were laid off in 2020 and unfortunately, Lisa was one of them. She worked for that company for 19 years.

She calls it a “blessing in disguise” since today she does the same kind of work from her own home. However, it didn’t feel that way at first. She was unemployed for a year and because of the tough spot she was in, she missed a couple of payments on her debt management program.

“Consolidated Credit was very understanding, and they worked with me. I got caught back up and was able to get the program completed. It made me feel even better about them as a company.”

She says she’s learned a lot since taking out those huge credit card purchases.

“[The program] taught me how quickly I could slide into the deep end of the credit card debt ‘pool’ and how quickly it damages my credit score. I never, ever want to put myself into that position ever again!”

After years of hard work, Lisa was able to restore her kitchen and her credit.

If home renovation credit card charges have sent your bills through the roof, we can help. Talk to a certified credit counselor today.

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