Marjorie Renaud-Topps

From Heartbreak to Financial Freedom – One woman’s triumphant journey to solving her debt woes

Marjorie Renaud-Topps’ road to debt wasn’t paved with good times, expensive gifts or fancy vacations. The Athabasca mother of four was accustomed to working on her family farm with her husband of 19 years. But when he died, she was thrown into a financial freefall.

When my first husband passed away, I got behind in paying the bills, and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it,” she says. “I was raising four teenaged children, so I was in a bit of a pickle.”

Not having life insurance made a difficult situation even worse…

“It’s such a snowball effect,” she says. “It was my own stupidity not to have it. We don’t plan on dying, so we didn’t get it.”

Marjorie found herself struggling to keep her head above water in her attempts to pay for basic utilities and everyday expenses. She said learning to stand on her own two feet was easier said than done.

“I got a job, but I still couldn’t cover the day to day expenses,” she says. “I just couldn’t seem to catch up.”

By the time she stumbled onto Consolidated Credit four years ago, she had amassed over $60,000 in unsecured debt…

Looking for a lifeline, she decided to give Consolidated Credit a call. Her life hasn’t been the same since.

Marjorie has graduated from Consolidated Credit’s debt management program in May 2013 and has a whole new outlook when it comes to handling money.

Her advice to those struggling to dig themselves out of debt?

“Talk to somebody like Consolidated Credit that will teach you how to manage money.”

Marjorie also emphasizes that everyone in the family has to be on board and be fully aware of how money is being spent in the household…

“My husband managed the money, so when he died I didn’t know what the hell I was doing,” she said. “You need to know what is going on.”

Having the support of family and friends is helpful and she feels lucky to have her children be so supportive during the whole ordeal.

“I had no complaints,” she says. “I explained it to them and they understood.”

Eventually her children became an integral part of the process…

“My kids were a very active part of it. We had to get some cutbacks in here and a couple of them even became very frugal. They don’t want to be in the same position that that we were in.”

Marjorie credits Consolidated Credit for teaching her two skills that she continues to use today.

She said that the most important skill she learned was how to budget effectively…

“If you don’t have the money to buy something then don’t buy it.”

Determining the difference between wants and needs before making a purchase also goes a long way in keeping money in your pocket.

“There is a time to play but if you don’t have the funds then this isn’t the time to do it.”

Though she is grateful for the assistance, and urges others in her situation to contact Consolidated Credit, she said that she hopes that she will not have to call them to assist her in the future.

“You know as nice as you guys were to deal with, I don’t want to have to deal with you ever again.”

You Don’t Have to Battle Debt Alone

Are you battling your way through debt? Credit Counseling has the resources that can make a difference. Call Consolidated Credit today at to speak with a trained creit counsellor or get started now with a request for a Free Debt Analysis.

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