Debt Free Info Testimonial
My name is Mary, I’m a single Mom in New Jersey and a Nurse Pracitioner with a good career. I have two beautiful intelligent teen-aged children that are only a few years away from college. My Father passed away in 2010 after being sick for nearly two-years. I’m now also personally and financially responsible for my Mother, who is in her 70′s. Dad’s cancer, and our efforts to treat him and make him more comfortable drained the entire family emotionally and financially.
I missed a lot of work between 2008 and 2010. I was forced to take a high-interest twenty-five thousand dollar personal loan from the bank to keep it all going. Then I opened two additional new credit cards with teaser rates but a year later I’d run up those credit cards just to make the ends meet; with interest rates on the new cards over 20%.
By 2011 I realized that I had nearly $60,000 of unsecured debt and my life-long good credit rating was sinking like a stone. After paying the monthly mortgage, car payments and insurance, and covering the basic family living expenses (like food, clothing and utilities); I was either making minimum payments or missing payments altogether.
Then the bank and credit card companies started calling and calling. They were polite at first and listened to the reasons why I couldn’t pay more than I was paying. When I was unable to meet thier expectations my debt was turned over to collections agencies and the calls really started coming. They even called me at work a few times. And I work in a hospital. They were threatening to garnish my wages and sue me for the debt and additional fees. Collectors even insisted they could put a lein on my house and take it away if I didn’t pay off the debt immediately.
Not only was I in debt over my head, I was now spending a lot of time and energy with no progress or benefit. After each nasty collection call I felt terrible, sad and angry. I was sinking into a deeper hole. I knew that I had to make changes, I just didn’t know how to get out. I’d seen debt relief and debt settlement commercials on TV and billboards. I didn’t know much about it, but it “felt” like a shady business.
Exasperated, I went online to do research and get some information to help myself. It wasn’t very hopeful and became uncomfortable with most of what I found. There was information and articles both for-and-against debt relief and debt settlement services. I learned from government websites that the FTC passed new laws in 2010 to protect consumers and businesses; and that charging upfront fees for these services was illegal. Debt Management plans and budgeting templates, advice and strategies were everywhere. I learned the difference between a Debt Snowball and Debt Ladder repayment plan.