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Life After Debt Series: “How Credit Cards Got Me into Financial Trouble”

How do you think you got into financial trouble?
Credit cards.

How did that make you feel?
I felt like a failure.

How long did it take you to get back on your feet financially?
5 years.

Is your outlook on life different now that you are debt free?
Yes it is.

How did dealing with your debt help in other areas of your life?
Financial issues were very hard on our marriage. Since completing the program, our relationship has become much stronger.

If you had a chance for a “do-over” in your life what would you have done differently that could have prevented you from getting into debt?
We would have obtained only one credit card, used it responsibly and paid off the balance owed as soon as we used it.

How did Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada help you with your situation?
We didn’t have to declare bankruptcy, so we were able to keep our home and vehicles. We were also forced to live on a strict budget, had no choice but to follow it.

How did it feel when you finished working with Credit Counselling Services and became debt free?
It was one of the happiest days of our lives.

What are you doing now to ensure you don’t repeat past financial mistakes?
We are keeping all bills up to date and using a credit card to improve our credit rating, making sure to pay off the balance immediately after its used.

If you were to experience financial difficulty again, would you use credit counselling to get back on track?
Yes.

How has becoming debt free allowed you to plan for your future?
It has allowed us to start putting a little money away for a rainy day.

Have you been able to educate/encourage other members of your family to budget and save?
We talk to our 15-year-old daughter all the time.

If you had to give up one daily expense to be debt free, what would it be?
I would love for my husband to quit smoking.

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