Happiness is a pretty good advertisement

Throughout Financial Literacy Month, the blog will give voice to consumers who have overcome financial challenges. Through their own words, these consumers will tell you about what it was like to be in and repay unmanageable debt. They will also share inspiring words about the many ways their lives have changed as a result of their debt repayment efforts.

While many clients volunteer to share their identities along with their stories, MMI greatly respects clients' need for privacy. In fact, confidentiality is one of the fundamental benefits of our counseling services. Following is a letter from a client in Texas who wants to share her story, but preferred not to be identified by name.

Paying off our credit card debt was a beginning for us. We are close to having everything paid off now (house $4800, car $5400, truck $14000, and 2 loans through our pensions to consolidate the last of the bills). In about 18 months I will be able to retire and go back to school. We are at the stage now to not have to live paycheck to paycheck, and we still help our family (we've bought 4 used cars and multiple computer systems plus an outlay of cash) whenever we can. So getting a handle on the credit card debt was a beginning of a dream for me.

My stress level also came down drastically. I stopped micro-managing everything and just let it fall naturally. The lines between my eyes relaxed as the tension dropped away. A girlfriend of mine was so impressed with how happy and peaceful I was that she asked for your information and made up a debt management plan for herself and her husband. Happiness is pretty good advertisement.

I'd love to pass on this feeling of accomplishment to others. I know how desperate I felt before I found you, and that desperation is gone now. We think you have a good thing going. We liked your approach of giving us control over our own destiny. I think the anonymity of doing it all by fax and over the Internet actually took the embarrassment out of having to ask for help.


Check back often for more stories about real people who have overcome the burden of debt. And don't forget to visit FinancialLiteracyMonth.com for a wealth of information about improving your own financial situation.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.