CareOne Community Member Spotlight - "Squade"

My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

CareOne Community Member Spotlight - "Squade"

Rate This
  • Comments 4

Introducing a new featured segment for the My Journey out of Debt blog; CareOne Community Member Spotlight! We are placing the spotlight on some of the familiar members you see engaging in the Community.

These members have graciously offered up their time to let me interview them about their personal stories, tips for success on the plans and more. This week I have interviewed Susan Quade; you would know her as squade.

 Susan did not have a photo of herself but because she lives near the beach this is the image we chose

What happened that made you realize you needed help with your debt?

My husband and I fell into the familiar trap of using credit cards for everyday expenses like gas, groceries, and dinners out.  Before we knew it, we were making payments to multiple creditors but barely paying beyond the minimum payments. Our credit was excellent and we were not late or missing payments, but the debt continued growing and our ability to actually pay it down was quickly diminishing. Once the economy started to decline, we began receiving notices from a few creditors that our interest rates would be increasing, through no fault of our own...that was the last straw. Some of the rate increases translated into a $100 increase to our minimum monthly payment. We simply could not sustain these rate increases.

Why did you decide to get professional help with your debt?

We had been in debt years ago, but I was willing to get us out on our own. I did look at some debt relief companies back then, but did not go through with it. When my husband and I began talking about what to do about our debt problem, he mentioned using a debt relief service like one he had heard about on the radio. I had a friend at work who had used your services and had successfully paid off her debt in full. The nature of our jobs requires that we not be in collections, etc., because of security clearances. So, when my coworker vouched for your services and I knew I would be repaying my debt in full, I decided to Google CareOne/Cesi to check it out. Honestly, I wish that we had signed up a year earlier; we would not have wasted a year struggling.

What do you wish you had known when you first joined the Debt Management Plan?

I wish that I had better understood, or that someone had better explained, that it can take up to three months for creditors to accept your proposals. There are issues that result in that three month window that I could have avoided if I had been better prepared. I definitely would have changed my payment dates sooner and also known how to manage the difference between my CareOne plan payment and my regular monthly payment, and why I started to incur late fees. Once I dug in to figure out what was going on, I was able to rectify the issues with my tax return, catch myself up, etc. I wish that I had realized the forums were there when I first started--that would have made a huge difference in helping me to better understand what to expect. Once I learned about the forums, I learned a ton; now I spend a lot of time trying to make sure that newbies have the information they need to avoid some of those pitfalls in the beginning.

What tips would you pass along to a "newbie" or somebody considering Debt Management?

  • 1. If you want to be successful the very first thing you need to do is to change your mindset; stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. It's fine to have wants-- we all do-- but you need to be prepared to accept that they are not actually needs. The truth is, you don't need as much as you think you do to be happy.
  • 2. Research everything you can about the plan and the process before you start so that you know how it works. Companies with communities give you a leg up; you can learn a lot from reading other customers' experiences in the forums.
  • 3. Don't let a few negative comments scare you off. One of the main reasons I stay active in the Community is because I want to make sure that people see that these plans work! It just requires equal effort on behalf of CareOne and you. I like to make sure I post to help others who may be confused, because I know that if they get the information they need, this will work for them too.
  • 4. Cut expenses now so that you can begin to make necessary lifestyle adjustments. Don't be afraid to call your service providers and ask them to cut you a deal. This includes your cell phone, cable, and internet; even utility companies have various plans that you may not be aware of. It's worth the call to find out!
  • 5. Start teaching your kids how to be accountable for money NOW! Let's make sure that our next generation is better prepared for the real world. I have started with my own daughter; she recently earned enough money through lemonade stands, allowance, and tooth fairy contributions to buy a big splurge item. She was very proud of herself and she has begun to understand that "things" have value.

When you are finally debt free, what lessons will you take from the Debt Management Plan and apply to your lifestyle to remain debt free?

The number one thing that I think you gain from a plan like Debt Management is learning how to live on a budget-- a tight budget. That is one skill set that we are all learning as a family. We are making adjustments to our spending that I think we will be able to sustain long after we have finished this plan. Also, as far as that monthly sum that is being direct deposited every month goes, I am not planning to get used to having it once the debt is paid off. That amount is going toward another huge debt: my mortgage. My husband and I plan to double up our monthly mortgage payment so that we are really debt free, unsecured and secured, much sooner! That does not mean I don't have some plans for fun. We have also started a fund to save for our twenty-year anniversary; we are headed to Hawaii!!!!

More Community Member Spotlights:

mdavis1964

Suzanne Coblentz

Suzanne Coblentz is a CareOne Community moderator and works in the Social Media department. If you are interested in being profiled or have some feedback about the CareOne Community please feel free to email her directly at scoblentz@CareOneCredit.com.

 

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share
  • Thank you for sharing!!!!!  Yours is a very inspiring story.  Best of luck on the rest of your journey!

  • Susan you are a true mentor.  I always enjoy reading your posts.  I love your attitude and your advice.  I know you will make it far.  Thank you for sharing your story with us.  Wishing you the best as always my dear friend.

  • Thankyou for sharing your journey Squade! You've sure been a positive influence on ME.....but to be honest, I started reading your posts just because of your name. Love "Squade"....it has a fun ring to it. LOL

  • Introducing Cheryl, our very first DMP graduate!

Page 1 of 1 (4 items)
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share