Trevor and Kaitlin* had no idea how their finances had spiraled out of control. Purchases made while they were in college and then after they were married slowly accumulated until, one day, they realized their credit card debt had grown to over $100,000. They knew they needed help, but were suspicious of ads that promised an easy solution to their debt crisis. After lots of research, Kaitlin came across the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website, where Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Chattanooga was recommended as a qualified and legitimate financial counseling agency. She found that CCCS of Chattanooga was also a program of the Partnership and a United Way member agency, convincing her to call and set an appointment with a certified counselor.
Trevor and Kaitlin met with Dan Stevens, a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor with 9 years of experience. Dan introduced them to the Debt Management Plan (DMP), a program which reduces interest rates and minimum payments, allowing debts to be paid off more quickly. Recalling their first appointment, Kaitlin said "Dan was very honest with us about how difficult it would be to pay everything off. But he was also very encouraging. He never said 'There's no way you can do this.'" Dan later said, "I wanted them to know that they were completely capable of paying off their debts, but that it would take a great deal of effort on their part. Clearly, they possessed the commitment and dedication that was needed for them to become debt-free!"
Dan also helped Trevor and Kaitlin to create a realistic spending plan to determine how much they would spend each month on each of their expenses. By following the spending plan, the couple would be able to set some money aside for emergencies each month in addition to paying all their bills, making payments on their credit card debt, and taking care of their personal needs. Dan's assistance with a monthly spending plan helped Trevor and Kaitlin to make a lifestyle change in order to avoid slipping back into old habits.
After joining the DMP in June of 2007, Trevor and Kaitlin successfully paid off $116,249.88 of credit card debt in December of 2011! Now that they are out of debt, Kaitlin says that she and Trevor are continuing to monitor their spending. "We had to learn and understand the difference between our needs and wants and we continue to examine every purchase we make."
If you are struggling with an overwhelming burden of debt, please don't hesitate to contact CCCS. Call (423)490-5620, email CCCSreception@PartnershipFCA.com, or live chat with a certified counselor right now!
*Names have been altered to preserve anonymity.