Life lessons Deannas story

We are honored to 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.

Following is Deanna's story.

I decided to ask for assistance because like everyone, I was tired of collectors calling my house. When I had unexpected expenses, it always affected whether or not I could pay my normal bills. I was frustrated because I was making the monthly payments and not seeing any real deductions in my account balances.

I chose Money Management International (MMI) because they are a non-profit organization. My first conversation with them was related to where I was now and where I wanted to be. Once I gave them the background, information, MMI worked with my creditors to get the interest reduced or eliminated and set up a payment plan that was within my budget. They accomplished this pretty quickly. I did not have to talk to my creditors or have any dealings with them, once the plan was in place. If I received any correspondence, it was forwarded directly to MMI. This made the decision easy. As long as I made my payments, I did not have to hear from any one and if I needed assistance MMI would be there to help me.

I did have to make a partial payment one month. MMI worked with my creditors to adjust the payment plan for this month and I continued my payments as normal. The plan assisted me in having money left to live on comfortably and taught me to put some aside for emergencies. It was great to see the account balances reduce significantly each month. The statement and emails from them gave me encouragement. I finished the plan early.

Working with MMI taught me how to budget and plan for my bills. It taught me how to plan for those large expenses you don’t see every month like car insurance or property tax. It got me out of a situation that I do not plan to go back to, being in debt that I cannot pay or live with comfortably. I have been blessed with a house, my vehicle is paid for, and I am planning for a future with little or no debt. Without these valuable life lessons, I do not think I would be where I am today.


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

  • 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.