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Getting Out of Debt and into a New Chapter in Life

After a love of shopping led to debt, Julie turned to Consolidated Credit to fix her credit card debt and develop better habits

Many Americans love to shop. It’s one of the cornerstones of our economy. But too often a love for shopping turns into a mountain of credit card debt that can be tough to pay down.


It’s a situation that Julie faced after years of using credit to support a love to shop.

“My shopping sprees ended up with me owing almost $11,000 in credit card debt to my creditors.”

Her shopping sprees had come to an end.

A credit card conundrum…

“I’m a person who loves to shop. Unfortunately for me I had too many credit cards and did not hesitate to use them. If I saw something I liked or wanted, I would just pull out a card, any card, and order the product. I wasn’t even thinking about how all my purchases would eventually add up.”

The license to overspend that credit cards offer is one of the leading causes of debt in America. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons that Consolidated Credit’s counselors hear for why clients face challenges with debt.

But in Julie’s case, she realized the debt she’d amassed could keep her from the prospect of purchasing a home. Her debt could hold her back from starting a new chapter in her life.

“With all that debt owed, I would never be approved for a mortgage loan until I cleared up my total debt altogether. This made me sad but determined to get my debt paid off.”

Even though she paid on time, those payments weren’t doing anything…

“I was only making the minimum payments each month on each card. Needless to say, it was not making any dent in the balances I owed.”

It’s a common issue with credit cards, which have interest rates that are often 20% or more. Minimum payments pay off a small percentage of the balance each month. But with high rates, more than two-thirds of every payment made goes to cover accrued monthly interest charges. The actual balance may only decrease by a few dollars each month.

For Julie with $11,000 in credit card debt, it would take nearly 20 years to pay off her balance with minimum payments.

Julie knew she had to act…

“I needed help and I needed it fast. I am no longer a spring chicken and felt that if I did not get some type of guidance or counseling help, I would never realize my dream of becoming a homeowner. In that moment, life became more serious.”

 And Julie got serious about eliminating her debt. She made a tough decision that others often don’t have the fortitude to make on their own.

“The first thing I did was call up most of the credit card companies that I had outstanding balances with and asked that the cards be closed. Once the cards were closed, I cut them up and threw them away.”

That solved the first problem that Julie had, helping her break her credit dependence by quitting most of her cards cold turkey. But that still left all the outstanding balances to deal with.

“I began to frantically research debt consolidation and who I could turn to for help and advice. Researching companies is time consuming and not so easy or much fun. But I finally found, researched and decided to go with Consolidated Credit.”

The process of getting debt free was easy…

After speaking with a certified credit counselor at Consolidated Credit, Julie enrolled in a Debt Management Program.

She gave the credit counselor all the information about the credit cards she wanted to include in the program. Together, they set up an affordable monthly payment plan that would pay off all her debt.

“I would pay one monthly payment each month as opposed to 7-8 payments each month on each card. That one payment was broken down into different payments that would go toward each card monthly. I was so happy because I was now only making the one payment each month.”

Julie says Consolidated Credit made it easy to track her progress.

“Consolidated Credit is very organized, and I was kept abreast of each monthly payment with an email receipt that they would send me of the payment made.”

She was also able to track the decreases in her credit card balances with her former creditors. Each monthly payment she made was credited to her respective accounts, decreasing those balances over time. And she got credit for those payments on the credit history of her credit report.

Along with that, Consolidated Credit would send her tips.

 “Another great thing about working with Consolidated Credit is they will guide you by sending you tip sheets on how to manage credit as well as other tips on how to stay debt-free.”

The day of relief finally came…

“My journey started in 2014 and ended in 2018. I became debt-free on November 2,2018. Consolidated Credit sent me a nice congratulatory email letter on all of my hard work and sincere dedication to completing the Debt Management Program.”

Her four-year journey didn’t come without its hardships, but she’s taken the lessons she’s learned and is moving forward with a new outlook on credit.

“I am now debt-free, stress-free and I have maintained the skills to keep my credit card balance at a balance that doesn’t stress or overwhelm me. I do not plan to put myself back into a position of debt. But should I falter, I would definitely choose Consolidated Credit to work with again.

She also brings a message of hope to others.

“There is hope for whether you have low or high debt. You will be set up with what works best for you. It may take several years depending on what is owed, but do not despair. If I can achieve it, so can you.”

And she’s paying it forward with her own friends.

“I recommended them to a friend and she in now working with them to also become debt-free. Reach out to them today. You won’t regret it. Complete the program and become an alumnus like me. Keep your head up. There is hope, and that hope is Consolidated Credit.”

Get the support you need to get out of debt and break your credit dependence.

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