There is nothing we cannot accomplish

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 Angela's story.

As cliche as it may sound, Money Management International/CCCS has literally been a lifesaver for both my husband and myself.

Embarrassingly, each one of us entered our 2001 marriage with about $25K in credit card debt apiece. Add that to rent/mortgage, car payments, student loan payments, living expenses, etc., it was a huge burden. I was "robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul" each month to pay all of our bills. I constantly found myself falling behind, getting calls from creditors, etc. We were two adult professionals working full-time with no kids or dependents -- making good wages -- yet we were living paycheck-to-paycheck and barely keeping our heads above water. We did NOT believe in declaring bankruptcy as our debt was our "fault" and we didn't think we should get a free pass by having it absolved. However, it was really hard to see light at the end of the tunnel.

My sister told me about MMI, as she was a participant a few years earlier. I knew we were at a point where we needed professional help. I called MMI, and it was one of the best things I've ever done!!! For starters, the counselors were so warm and helpful. They were never judgmental or condescending. I entered the DMP first, and in approximately 5 years, I went from nearly $26K to ZERO debt! My payments were affordable, and my phone stopped ringing with collection calls. We next enrolled my husband, and knocked out his debt within a few years. We actually paid his off early! During that time, I allowed myself to amass about $8K in credit card debt, and re-enrolled to get rid of it. It is amazing to think we paid off nearly SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in credit card debt! Ugh---just the thought of $60K in CREDIT CARD debt makes me sick to my stomach! We could have NEVER done this without the involvement of MMI.

I am happy to report that we are happier and more financially "healthier". I drive a brand-new car, and we take annual vacations -- things we were never able to do before. Between the time we started DMP until now, our credit scores have gone from the high 400's/low 500's to the mid 700's. We are receiving the best interest rates of our lives on our home and cars. We are committed to NEVER going back to the way we were. Our steadfast commitment to paying off our debt and raising our credit scores actually made us stronger as a couple. And, as a result, we feel like there's nothing we can't accomplish. Ironically, I lost my job 5 months ago, and we had to live solely off of my husband's income. This would have been impossible had we still been carrying all that credit card debt.

I tell everyone I can about MMI/CCCS. You are a godsend. People need to know that they don't have to do this alone, and they do not have to declare bankruptcy. There is a way to pay off your debt.

Thank you for helping us to a brighter future!

Best regards,

Angela- Cleveland

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.