Client Profile: Tricia Tries Twice – and Succeeds
Ontario resident Tricia H. first needed help paying off her debt when she was 22 years old.
“I spent recklessly,” Tricia recalls. “I didn’t buy many big-ticket items, but I would buy all kinds of clothes and electronics when I went shopping – and the debt slowly built up around me.”
Years of bad spending habits led Tricia to a local financial institution for help…
Her four or five credit cards were all maxed out, and she knew she had to do something.
“I was nearly $15,000 in debt, just from buying things that I didn’t need,” Tricia said. “I would go to the mall almost every weekend when I should have busied myself doing something else. It became my recreational time.”
Tricia successfully paid down her debt, but her local financial institution didn’t give her any financial advice on budgeting and money management.
“I never really stopped spending when I paid down my debt the first time,” Tricia says. “I really didn’t learn my lesson, and spending money on credit cards was just so easy for me.”
Four years later, Tricia once again found herself hopelessly in debt. She was 26 years old, working data entry at a trucking company, and nearly $25,000 in debt. She owned credit cards from Visa, Sears, two Future Shop cards, and a Canadian Tire card for her car.
She knew she had a spending problem but chose to ignore it. But it was catching up to her – and so were the sleepless nights.
“When I went shopping, a little voice in my head would say, ‘Don’t buy that,’ but I wouldn’t listen,” Tricia says. “And the next day, when it all set in and I realized what I did and how much I spent, oh my gosh, it was terrible.”
This time, she contacted Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada after seeing a TV commercial.
“The people at Consolidated were so friendly and helpful from the very start,” Tricia says. “They consolidated part of my debt like I asked, slashed my interest rates, and provided me with one easy monthly payment that I could afford.”
After five years of paying down her debt, 31-year-old Tricia finally graduated from the Consolidated debt management program in late 2013. But she did more than pay off her debt.
“Consolidated helped me become a better money manager,” Tricia says. “I took advantage of the tools they offered and the advice they gave about budgeting – and I stopped using my credit cards. It was a wonderful experience.”
Now Tricia avoids the malls and shopping centers.
“I busy myself doing other things besides shopping,” Tricia says. “Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.”
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