From Young and Broke to Older and Wiser

Client Debt Stories: Dawn D -Travel and Living Large

Dawn lived it up in her 20s but wised up in her 50s. Now she’s gotten her life back, and it feels good.

When Dawn was in her 20s, she lived life at 100 miles per hour.

“I wanted independence and everything that it implied,” she recalls. “I wore nice clothes to work, bought a new car, ate at the fun restaurants, and continued the fun into the night at the clubs.”

How could she afford this lifestyle as a restaurant hostess?

Truth is, she couldn’t.

“This was all possible because credit card companies love to provide credit cards to irresponsible young adults and charge astronomical interest rates. I had seven credit cards that I ran up to the limit in record time. Of course, when the bills came, I realized that my salary wouldn’t cover even the minimum due.”

Dawn did what many young people do when they get into trouble. She called home.

“I was in trouble, so I asked my dad for a loan,” she says. “He helped me pay four months of minimum payments for all seven cards.”

“I was one of those irresponsible young adults on a mission to buy everything that I could so my life would be complete!” – Consolidated Credit Client, Dawn D. #youngandbroke Click To Tweet

Unfortunately, her father’s financial help didn’t solve the real problem…

He only postponed the next crisis, because Dawn never conquered her bad habits.

“I was always the spender, not the saver. So, after that, I was still in trouble. Fast forward to 10 years later and hit repeat. Fast forward to 20 years and hit repeat. Now, in my 50s, I have come upon a hardship I never imagined and certainly had no financial planning for.”

Like many Americans, Dawn was juggling her debts until tragedy struck. Then it all came crashing down. For some people, the debt-busting tragedy is an illness, an accident, or a natural disaster. For Dawn, it was a painful divorce.

“When my children were little, I got divorced…”

Dawn says her emotional pain was matched by her financial struggles.

“My husband left me the kids, the house, a mortgage, and debt. I scraped, begged, borrowed, and ran up more credit card debt just to keep a roof over my kids’ heads and food in their bellies.”

Eventually, all that was left was bankruptcy. But like her father’s help decades earlier, it was a temporary fix, not a permanent solution. She still possessed the same spending habits.

Then tragedy struck again…

With her children in their late teens, Dawn suffered another setback.

“I lost my job because of my age and can’t get rehired in my field for the same reason. I was forced to take a nanny position, which isn’t a fat salary. I reached a point where I looked at my credit card statements every month and realized I would never be able to pay them off — because the interest rates were criminal due to my previous bankruptcy.” 

Dawn was suffering from “crisis accumulation.” That’s what happens when an old problem you thought you solved comes back to haunt you in new ways.

“My debt had gone from bad to worse. I felt helpless because I knew my way of living was really getting me into trouble on a daily basis. I needed help.” – Consolidated Credit Client, Dawn D. #youngandbroke Click To Tweet

Dawn was getting desperate. There was no way out…

Dawn admits, “My credit was a mess.” None of the old temporary solutions would work any longer.

“I couldn’t refinance my home because it was impossible to improve my credit the way I was going. I couldn’t go to my father again. Something about being in your 50s and asking dad for a loan is horrible! I couldn’t take out another loan, because it would only take me further down the financial abyss.” 

Like many people, it was only now that Dawn started thinking about the one solution she’d never tried before. It turned out to be the one that worked.

“Finally, I realized that it was time I take control of my debt and rid myself of it once and for all. I couldn't do it alone. I didn't know how.” – Consolidated Credit Client, Dawn D. #youngandbroke Click To Tweet

Dawn contacted Consolidated Credit, and everything fell into place…

At first, she was skeptical. Could it really be that simple?

“I had received a few emails from Consolidated Credit but never replied. I took a shot and responded. They called me immediately. I felt a bit of relief, honestly, as soon as I heard, ‘Hi, this is Jason from Consolidated Credit. How can I help you?’ That, in itself, was a relief.”

Dawn was actually happy to hear Consolidated Credit isn’t another quick fix, and she says “it’s such a relief to know that someone else is doing that work for me. I have also used the tools on the website to learn how to budget – so that I do not get into financial trouble again.”

And that’s the real secret, Dawn says. Getting out of debt isn’t enough. Learning how to stay out is the real solution.

“Now that I have a better understanding of my bad habits, I have vowed to myself never to jump in front of the debt train again,” she says, “no matter if I end up with a fat salary or not!”

“Thanks to Consolidated Credit, I can actually sleep better at night. Seriously, it's not just a commercial!” – Consolidated Credit Client, Dawn D. #debthelp Click To Tweet