Phil and Laura began using credit when they were in college, back when credit card companies gave away T-shirts for signing up. For several years, they did okay financially. But especially after they bought a house and Laura cut her work hours to stay home with the kids, they relied more and more on credit cards. Before they knew it, Phil and Laura were $47,000 in debt. By the time they came to Guidewell Financial , they were in over their heads, and the stress of their debt was hurting their marriage.
How Guidewell Financial Helped
Guidewell Financial’s trained credit counselor had worked with many people in situations like Phil and Laura’s—living paycheck to paycheck and not knowing where to turn. Because Phil and Laura lived in Ohio, the counselor worked with them by phone. Based on the budget Phil and Laura filled out online, the counselor was able to help them take an honest look at their situation, then come up with a plan to get back on track with their finances. The Guidewell Financial counselor suggested a Debt Management Plan (DMP) to pay off their debt. With a DMP, Phil and Laura could make one monthly payment to Guidewell Financial, who would then pay each creditor an agreed-upon amount every month. The counselor guided Phil and Laura through the steps of getting a DMP, then showed them how to budget their money so they could repay their debt and plan for the future.
After three years in the Guidewell Financial DMP, Phil and Laura had paid off $41,000 of their debt. While in the DMP, Phil and Laura were able to pay cash for all purchases, including a used car. They also set up an emergency fund and retirement plan. Since leaving the DMP, they have continued to take control of their finances. Using the money management skills they learned from Guidewell Financial, they now look at their budget regularly and make adjustments based on what might be required in the coming month.
“I used to feel like our money problems were a 3,000-pound gorilla we couldn’t discuss. Now all the worry and stress are gone. Learning to plan has helped our marriage.”