Will my Debt Management Experience be Worth it?

A Straight Talk on Debt

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Will my Debt Management Experience be Worth it?

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Back in August, I was preparing for a two-week business trip to India. Being a little short on funds, I was worried about what would happen if my family encountered a large, unexpected expense.  

In a moment of weakness, I filled out an application to increase our checking account's overdraft protection line of credit. My request was declined because my debt-to-income ratio was still higher than the bank's liking. This is AFTER we've paid off over $70,000 of credit card debt through our debt management plan.

I was frustrated and disappointed. 

My friend Reva, who is also enrolled in a debt management plan, recently went through a similar experience. She was booking a flight online for a trip she had budgeted and saved for, when she was presented with an offer to save $100 on her booking if she applied for a credit card. 

Being just months away from completing her plan, she was looking for a way to start re-building her credit. Saving $100 on her airline ticket would be icing on the cake. Unfortunately, she was also declined because the creditor that Reva applied to was one that she had an account with already and was enrolled in her DMP.

To say she was dejected would be an understatement. She questioned whether the financial and emotional pain and suffering she had endured during the course of her debt management plan was worth it.  Sure she was paying off her debt and her credit score had improved, but if she wasn't able to secure credit when she wanted or needed it, would having been enrolled in a debt relief plan help her in the long run?

Being in a debt relief plan is hard. 

In addition to making a monthly payment to the plan, lines of credit are closed and opening new lines of credit is not advised by debt relief providers or creditors. Even if you do try, being approved for them can also be difficult, as both my friend and I found out. The enrollment documentation of my debt management plan spelled out very clearly that this would be the case. Neither of us should have been all that surprised that we were declined, as the reason was directly related to the fact that we have debt and are enrolled in a debt management plan.

But as I thought about it, I concluded that I'm not going through this to make it easier to secure new lines of credit. I'm doing this so that I don't ever have to apply for or use a credit card again. My wife and I are eliminating our debt and working to manage our finances correctly not to get a better credit score, but so that we don't ever have to care what it is.

I look forward to the day when I have the funds tucked away in savings, which allows us to handle unexpected expenses without relying on credit.

I look forward to the day when my consistent and on-time payments to my DMP, as well as secured lines of credit, such as my car payment and mortgage, allow my credit score to simply take care of itself.

Completing my debt management plan, in parallel with learning to manage our finances successfully, will make both of these goals possible. In 18 months, when I make my last payment, will I look back and think it was all worth it?

Without a doubt.

Related Links:

Have I Learned My Lesson with Credit Cards?

Habit Forming: How to make room for healthy habits

Getting out of Debt is a Constant State of Mind

Travis Pizel, Debt Management Plan Customer and blogger for CareOne Services, Inc.  

Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt and A Straight Talk on Debt blogs. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

To connect with Travis on Google+ click the

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