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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter


Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterFebruary 7 2013 newsletter
How much debt is too much? 

How much debt is too much debt?

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

Practically everyone has debt.

From the day you first asked for an advance against next week’s allowance in order to buy a copy of the new M.C. Hammer album on cassette tape (…I’m speaking hypothetically, of course), you’ve lived with debt in your life. So there’s nothing strange or wrong or off about having debt.

But be honest now: how’s it going these days?

The truth is that we tend to get used to the way things are. Less than ideal situations start to seem normal as time goes by. If you blow a fuse every time you try to use your microwave and your coffeemaker simultaneously then you might train yourself to never use both at the same time – rather than say, getting a surge protector (…again…totally hypothetical).

Which is all to say that you might not even be aware that your relationship with debt is out of whack. Thankfully, there are a few simple tools to help you determine where you stand with debt.

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Debt's on Facebook!  And yes, he's still a jerk.

Have you ever broken up with someone only to Facebook stalk them to see what they’re doing and who they’re hanging out with – leaving yourself wondering if you made the right decision after all?

Well, when you break up with Debt, you can Facebook stalk him all you want, but I GUARANTEE the only thing you’ll be wondering is “Why didn’t I ditch Debt sooner?”

debt is on Facebook

So go ahead; follow Debt on Facebook. Check in with him every so often (or every hour if you prefer) – whenever you need motivation. He’s sure to serve as a great reminder of why you decided to end it.

And if you need to vent? Do it! Tell Debt right to his face. Tell him it’s over and that you’re done with him. What could be more gratifying?

With MMI by your side, we’ll work together to make Debt sorry he ever messed with you!

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Sharpen Your Financial Skills with Online Courses

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. Take the first step toward financial wellness by enrolling in a Web seminar today!

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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


4 tips for loaning money to family and friends

With credit becoming more difficult to obtain and the cost of living increasing all the time, don’t be surprised if a friend or family member springs that frightening question: “Can I borrow some money?” According to a Rockefeller Foundation Poll, 58 percent of 18-to 29-year-old respondents have to borrow money from a friend or relative to meet living expenses.

Although borrowing money is usually done with the intention of paying the lender back, this does not always happen. Loaning money to family and friends can put you in the unfortunate situation of being left without your money and possibly your relationship.

Before agreeing to lend money to your friends and relatives, openly communicate to them your concerns and expectations. Remember, you should only lend money you feel confident will be paid back.

Understand financial limits

Only agree to loan money you can afford to lend. List all your necessary living expenses and make sure those items have been paid prior to agreeing to lend money. You don’t want to find yourself in the same situation as your friend or relative who needed to borrow money from you.

Put it in writing

If you choose to lend someone money, treat the personal loan like you would any other business matter. Discuss the terms of the agreement and put the details in writing. Be sure to list both parties involved, the interest rate, due dates, payment amounts and penalty for late or missed payments. Don’t feel bad about asking to formalize the agreement – it may help protect your friendship later. If your friend doesn’t want to put everything in writing, then don’t agree to lend the money.

Don’t abuse power

Once you’ve lent the money, do not assume a position of power by expecting special treatment from the borrower. Also, once the money has been lent, don’t try to control how it is spent. Being too authoritative could damage your relationship.

Prepare for the worst

Make sure you are comfortable with attempting to collect on the debt if necessary. Document the date and time and save copies of any letters or phone calls, and make sure you make note of all the responses to your attempts. Your records may be necessary if you plan to take the matter to court, or if you plan to write the debt off as non-business bad debt on your next tax return.

If you still aren’t sure whether you should agree to a loan, remember this famous quote from Shakespeare: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend.”    

MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
Tips for Success

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Update your account balances online. When you receive your creditor statements, update your balances by visiting your MMI account .

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