Overwhelming debt Susies story

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.

Following is Susie's personal debt story.

I can remember a time when I hated to hear the phone ring. I hated to go to the mail box. The weight of my debt was constantly on my mind. Sleeping was difficult and immediately upon awakening the stress was overpowering. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store for necessities because I couldn’t afford it. I felt like a horrible mother because I couldn’t buy the things that my sons needed. I was totally depressed.

A few years earlier I had a good job as a paralegal, but some health issues made it unbearable to work the long hours involved in court. I had to take a lower paying job and used credit cards to pay bills; medical bills and regular bills. Soon I was getting more credit cards and moving balances from one to another. I got further and further behind. Soon just the monthly payments on my credit cards were more than I could afford and the total amount owed when added together was overwhelming. Paying the minimum monthly payments was getting me nowhere. There was no end in sight.

I was seeing commercials for the debt management firms. I called a couple. Money Management International was easy to work with. They were very polite and understanding.

Almost two years ago, I completely paid off my debt. Just that in itself is such a load off my mind. Check back often for more stories about real people who have overcome the burden of debt. 

Since then I have been able to buy a house with 6 acres of land and a pond. I just can’t explain the pride I felt when I heard the bank say that I had good credit and would qualify for the loan for my home. There is no doubt that I would still be in debt with a long way to go if it had not been for Money Management International. I have hopes that I will be able to pay the house off in time to be able to retire. That was something that was unimaginable just a few short years ago.

-Susie W

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.

  • 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.