With the help of a CredAbility Debt Management Plan, Courtney and Michael learned how to swim out of the deep end.
Courtney and Michael St. John-Wacker’s children excelled at swimming. Like many parents, the couple provided them with their full support, no matter the cost.
For several years, they traveled to swim meets throughout the Southeast, charging expenses for hotels, meals and gasoline. They purchased new computers for the family and spent generously on presents for their children during the Christmas holidays. Their credit card debt skyrocketed to more than $80,000.
“We simply spent too much money on items we thought that we would pay off later,” Courtney says. “We tried to tackle the debt ourselves, but after three years, we weren’t getting anywhere.”
The couple decided they needed help from experts and called CredAbility in 2005. After speaking with a counselor, they decided to enroll in a Debt Management Plan (DMP).
At their counselor’s recommendation, Michael and Courtney worked on curbing their expenses, separating “needs” from “wants.” They also took steps to increase their income. Courtney, a teacher, earned an advanced degree in Education and has been promoted three times in the past few years.
These changes have paid off. In August 2010, after five and a half years of making monthly payments, the couple eliminated a total of $83,000 in credit card debt. “We do have one credit card now, and we are very careful how we use it. We never want to get in a financial mess again,” says Courtney.
“After spending money for so many years because we thought it was the right thing to do, it was hard to change our behavior. But, if we can pay off more than $80,000 in debt with a child in college, anyone can do it.”