Peninsula family pay off $57,000 in credit card debt and offer advice
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — As Renee Macklin and her family moved to Newport News, their finances quickly took a hit.
“I think a lot of that was because moving costs are so high,” she said. “There were just a lot of things that weren’t being paid for out of necessity and it makes you feel like you’re drowning very quickly.”
They put vehicle purchase, deposits, rent and more on credit cards.
“[It caused] a lot of stress, a lot of nightmares and a lot of feeling like you’re doing something wrong all the time,” she said.
Like many families, they couldn’t cope with calls from creditors or high interest rates and eventually racked up about $57,000 in debt.
There was no end in sight for the family of five until they heard about International financial managementa non-profit credit counseling agency.
“I look at their whole financial picture to see what they have, what their goals are, what they want to do,” Marla Puckett said.
Marla Puckett is a Certified Credit Counselor and explained how easy it is to fall victim to credit card debt.
“You see a lot of that in ads, you know, ‘buy now, pay later.’ Well, “later” doesn’t mean you pay off that $250 purchase, it means you pay off a $375 purchase once you’ve added that interest,” Puckett said.
Bankrate predicts that the average credit card interest rate will reach almost 20% APR by the end of the year, which is a record high. Estimates show this could add up to $4,500 in interest charges for people who only make their minimum payment.
“There are literally four options anyone has and can use to take care of their financial situation,” she said.
Puckett has listed the following ways to take control of your credit card debt:
- Debt Consolidation
- Debt management plan
- Debt settlement
The Macklins opted for the debt management plan and paid off $57,000 in debt over four years.
MMI contacted its creditors, negotiated interest rates/terms and monthly payments. All the Macklins had to do was be honest with their finances and stick to the plan.
Renee said her family got their lives back and so did you.
“Oh my God, that was super surreal [when we submitted our final payment.] We were so excited and expected for so long. We were like countdowns like the payouts, so the last payout was so, so amazing,” she said.
Puckett said the key to debt-free success is building strong spending habits, including, but not limited to, paying off your balance on time and in full, buying only what’s needed, and caution when signing up for rewards cards. .
The Federal Reserve meets again at the end of September and experts predict that rates will go up.