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 our Financial Literacy Month section for a wealth of information about improving your own financial situation.

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

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.