Choose to overlook bleak outlook

A recent USA Today news report highlighted some alarming statistics. According to the report, the amount of credit card debt amassed by consumers has increased 368 percent from two years ago; however the number of people seeking help from credit counseling agencies has dropped 20 percent.
 
Financial experts suggest the declining number of people seeking help may be because people are tired of trying and have just given up.

It’s easy to become discouraged – especially in today’s economy. Unfortunately, debt isn’t something that should be ignored. Our studies show debt affects far more than your finances. Debt and financial stress affects your health, your relationships and your well-being.

So as the number of consumers in debt increases, it’s important to understand that there are options available. It’s also imperative to remember that there is always hope, regardless of your financial situation.

In fact, in 2010, MMI assisted more people than ever. Through our counseling services, we were able to assist more than 470,000 consumers in need of help. And as a result, our clients were able to pay back more than $740 million in debt – and that was just last year!

The feelings that come as a result of freeing yourself from debt are ones best described by those who have taken the path to financial freedom. Listen to our new podcast series to hear truly inspiring success stories from former clients. And if you haven’t already, take a minute and watch this video on the benefits of repaying debt.

Remember, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. If you need help finding it, that’s what we’re here for!

Jessica Horton is a former copywriter and community manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.