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Succes Online Financial Education Newsletter

 

Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCESS NewsletterFinancial Education Newsletter
 
The overlooked impacts of debt and stress
Your health, relationships, and job performance are all at risk

When it comes to debt and stress, there is a direct correlation between the two. Debt can have a profound impact on overall health. Debt impacts not only our health,  but our mental state, relationships with our friends and family, and even our performance on the job.

Many people are too intimidated to talk about finances, or they may feel shame when discussing personal financial problems. The financial counselors at Money Management International (MMI) offer a wide variety of services including credit and budget counseling to help relieve the burden of stress due to financial issues.

To illustrate how far-reaching the problem can be, here are some debt-related stress statistics:

  • People who have debt-related stress are four times as likely to have ulcers or other digestive problems (Source: Lifehacker.com).
  • According to a poll conducted by the Associated Press, about 46 percent of Americans surveyed said their suffering from debt-related stress, and about half of those people describe their stress as “great deal” or “quite a bit” (Source: Huffington Post).
  • Twenty-four percent of Americans blame financial hardships for health-related issues such as depression, anxiety, and problems sleeping. Financial stress can also be linked to failed relationships (Source: Money Management International personal finance survey).
  • Eight out of 10 Americans say the current economy is a significant cause of stress (Source: American Psychological Association).
  • Faith in the American economic system continues to decline. Seventy-four percent of Americans do not trust the U.S. financial system (Source: MSNBC.com).

Fight back against debt today and call MMI at 866.990.2227 to get help now!

 

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From debt to freedom: Real people – real stories

 

Paying off strangling, energy-draining debt is possible. You can do it. We can prove it.

Looking for information on the benefits of repaying debt? Look right here! Listen to real MMI clients talk about their debt repayment experiences in this free success story podcast series.

 

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The goal of our highly trained professionals is to arm you with the knowledge necessary to take control of your financial situation. Our online seminars stress the development of skills that can assure long-term success. You will gain the peace of mind that comes from improved spending habits, increased savings, and the wise use of credit. Take the first step toward financial wellness by enrolling in a Web seminar today!

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Signs your debt load is too high

Is your debt manageableor a source of problems?

Today, more and more people are finding themselves in severe debt – not a good place to be given the current state of the economy. Most adults have some combination of auto loans, credit card debt, mortgage debt, medical debt, student loans, and personal loans.

Not all debt is bad. Many of life’s necessities – cars and homes, for example – would be out of reach for most without the assistance of a loan. But where is the line? The following are a few common signs that you might be in dangerous territory with your debt load.

Increased percentage of income going to debt

Many experts believe that you are in, or are headed for, financial trouble when too much of your paycheck (about 36%) is being allocated toward debt payments. For some the definition of being “in debt” is more about a feeling than a number. If you find more and more of your earnings going toward bills each month, it might be time to make a change.

Inadequate or nonexistent savings

Consumers who are dealing with debt may feel that there isn’t a dime to spare. According to recent statistics, significant numbers of consumers report either having no savings or more credit card debt than retirement savings. If you find the concept of saving money challenging, you aren’t alone. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income has dipped into negative territory in recent years.

Minimum payments on maxed-out credit

The average household owes more than $8,000 in credit card debt. If you pay only the minimum balance each month, it will take you a long time to pay off your cards – and you will be paying the maximum amount possible. It is necessary to pay more than the minimum on your cards if you ever want to get out of debt.

Chronically late in paying bills

Does the mailman's arrival with a new stack of bills fill you with a sense of dread? Avoiding payment of bills leads to accrued interest, increased balances, a lower credit score, and the possibility of further collection efforts such as wage garnishment.

Not knowing how much you owe

Take a good look at your debt. How much do you owe? What are the interest rates? Odds are that you have a couple of cards and some loans with several different rates. To get a full picture, you really should get reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, because different information may be contained on each of the reports. Once you have copies of your credit bureau files, you will be able to determine who you owe and how much you owe.

Threatened with legal action

If a debt goes unpaid for an extended period of time, creditors may turn your account over to a collection department or agency. If you default on bills and have found yourself in debt collections, you’ll be dealing with creditors and collection agencies frequently. In this circumstance it’s important to know your consumer rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Understanding the rules can make sure you aren’t being inappropriately stressed.

If you recognize any of these symptoms, it might be a sign that you need to take a good look at your total debt levels, spending habits, and plans for payoff. If your financial obligations are overwhelming and you find yourself losing control, seek help. The experts at MMI are trained debt management specialists, and can assist you in developing a plan to get your debt under control.


MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
Tips for Success

Don't risk missing a payment-sign up for DepositDirect. DepositDirect Authorization allows us to withdraw your deposit from your bank account and save time and money each month. It's secure, convenient and easy! Enroll online today!

Update your account balances online. When you receive your monthly statement from your creditors, login to your MMI account and update your balances. It is important that we have the most accurate balance information possible on file. 

If you would like more information about signing up for a Debt Management Plan through Money Management International, visit MoneyManagement.org.


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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit MoneyManagement.org.

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