submitted by Joan Reading, President, Credit Counseling Center, www.ccc-credit.com
This year Credit Counseling Center celebrates its 25th year of financial service to the Bucks County community.
Established in 1994, Credit Counseling Center has helped over 50,000 people establish budgets, pay down and get out of debt, save an emergency fund, improve credit scores, buy first homes, prevent foreclosure, and live in control of their finances.
With locations in Levittown, Doylestown, and a newly expanded office in Richboro, Credit Counseling Center provides low-cost and free counseling to residents of Bucks County.
To highlight the work Credit Counseling Center does, Jennifer, a client of two years talked about her experience at a ribbon cutting ceremony held in May. “We finally allowed ourselves to admit that we were drowning in debt shortly after we found out we were pregnant with our third child,” Jennifer began.
With two children and a third on the way, financial troubles came to a head over a discussion about getting a car that fits three car seats, “and then WWIII breaks out over finances,” Jennifer said.
With multiple credit cards nearing the max and others in collections and with mortgage, hot water heater, student and personal loan payments crushing the monthly income, Jennifer and her husband were in over their heads.
“We never budgeted or talked about money… we trusted and assumed the other person was handling their part. We treaded water with this method for seven years, and now we were drowning.”
Ready to tackle their debt, Jennifer did some Googling and found the Credit Counseling Center.
Center staff coached Jennifer and her husband to get rid of credit cards, to budget, to save, and to use cash. “It was extremely hard in the beginning, but each month we got smarter and financially stronger,” said Jennifer.
The proof came when the TV broke.
Using the tools taught by Credit Counseling Center Jennifer and Mark assessed their savings and decided they didn’t have the money for a new TV.
They started a cash envelope and three weeks later bought their new TV, with cash. “Old Jennifer and Mark would have gone to Best Buy the day it broke and swiped a card, but new Jennifer and Mark were patient and planned.”
With help from Credit Counseling Center Jennifer and her husband have paid off two loans and two credit cards, are living in control of their finances, and are on their way to living debt free.
Jennifer concluded, “It doesn’t matter where you are in your debt, it just matters that you start to make changes to fix the problem. This experience has taught my husband and I how to communicate better about the finances, and it has truly made our marriage stronger. We are so excited about what we are able to accomplish each month, and are looking forward to the things we will be able to do in the future.”
To contact the Credit Counseling Center call 215-348-8003 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO CAP: Credit Counseling Center celebrates their expanded office space and 25 years of providing people with free financial education.