We Are DONE With Our Debt Consolidation Program!

A Straight Talk on Debt

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We Are DONE With Our Debt Consolidation Program!

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I've been waiting 55 months to write this post.  I've dreamed and fantasized about it often.  Usually cheering crowds and blasting trumpets were involved, but that was just my imagination getting a little carried away.

With our regularly monthly payment on January 31st, and an additional payment we scheduled for February 4th, we completed our debt consolidation plan.

But even as that final withdrawal was taken from our account, I didn't cue the trumpets just yet.  I wanted to see all my creditor balances at zero.  On Friday, February 7th our payments had all posted, and we were officially DONE, and $109,000 of credit card debt was officially GONE.

Cheering crowds and trumpets, you may proceed.

Our program was originally to take exactly five years, which would have meant our last payment would have been June of 2014.  As the program progressed, and I updated our balances each month, the tools re-adjusted to target our February payment.  In early January we refinanced our mortgage.  The way the timing worked out with our refinance, we didn't have a mortgage payment in February which allowed us to put those extra funds towards our debt consolidation program and finish early.

So now that we're done, what's next?

One thing I can tell you for sure is that I'm not going anywhere.  We've completed our debt consolidation program, but there's more work to be done to get our finances exactly where we want them. 

You'll continue to find blog posts from me each week here in the community focusing on the following subjects:

Ways to Save Money:  It's a habit, and we're hooked.  If I find a great way to save money, you'll all get to read about it.

Paying off Debt:  We still have debt that we want and need to pay off that was not included in the program.

College Funds:  Our kids are now 15 and 11, and are looking to go to college one day.  We want to help them get a college education and start their adult lives debt free.  Being able to start college funds for them and consistently contribute to them is going to be a challenge!

Saving for Retirement:  We had to stop contributing to our retirement accouts to focus on our debt consolidation program.  Now that the program is complete, we need to play catchup to make sure we're ready to retire someday.

So, essentialy, all the same subjects you're used to reading about from me.  But most of all, I want to stick around to cheer all of you on as you work towards your own finish line.  I may even learn how to play the trumpet!

Related Links:

Counting the Months to DMP Graduation!

3 Years in the Debt Management Plan, Still Learning... 

Riding the Debt Relief Roller Coaster


Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. 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 in Minnesota. 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.

To connect with Travis on Google+ click the

 You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles


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  • Congratulations Travis & Vonnie! Your family will continue to inspire us all as you move on to new financial goals!

  • woohoo!! I look forward to your blogposts going forward - post-DMP! Finishing the DMP was just the beginning for me, finding a balance between enjoying life, spending wisely and remaining debt-free is a lifelong journey.

  • Thanks, Jean - appreciate your kind words!  If you would have told me five years ago that my finances would inspire someone, I'd think you were crazy. LOL.  thanks for reading!

  • Hi SaraCarr, so great to hear from you here in the Community again!    You're right in that finishing the DMP is a beginning...there's so many other things I want/need to do to get our finances exactly where I want them - hope you'll keep reading to see what we're up to!

  • In April it will be one year in the CareOne Debt Management Program. I started out with $18,000 in debt. I check my balances monthly and often I speed up one or two of the accounts. Zero balances are wonderful! The program has given me the peace I needed to know that payments were being made and I didn't have to think about it. Oh, I have 3 payments I make myself but it's better than 15!! Right. I have about 53 months to go and I can breathe. In the meantime, I have also done this: I have recycled my house. I have been planning a major garage sale. I have too much! I am downsizing my clothes, dishes (how many dishes do you need a day to eat?) I have downsized my cupboards, and all the things that I have not touched or used in over a year. It's outta hear. My house is looking better everyday! No clutter. Try it--it will give you a new lease on life.  Ann

  • Congratulations, Travis and family!! I've been in my program for just over 3 years; I have 2 smaller accounts left, each less than my usual monthly payment, and I'll be finished. I can't wait! I, too, have some immediate plans to work on my "new" finances and also hope to increase what I'm putting aside for retirement. Just dig out your New Year's noisemakers or get some kazoos and make your own music!!!

  • Congrats! Did your fee to care one go up because you paid some off early? I paid one of mine off last month and I am paying off a second in April. Now care one was going to charge me an extra $15 to $40 service fee because I don't owe as much now. Something about 7.5%. BS I said, why pay off early if your just going to have to pay a bigger fee to care one?

  • @abyrne68 - sounds to me like you're doing everything right!  You remind me of the process we went through as we began our journey - keep going!  I think for 3 of the 5 years we were on the plan we had major garage sales in both the Spring and the Fall.  Not only did it get a bunch of unused stuff out of our house, but it gave us money in our pocket too!  A decluttered house DEFINITELY looks AND feels GREAT! Thanks for reading!

  • @Saturngirl - New year's Kazoos....why didn't I think of that!  I bet we might have even had a package of confetti we could have thrown.  LOL.  Sounds like you're running  towards that finish line too...make sure you have your goals for after the program firmly in place and ready to go once you exit!  Thanks for your comment!

  • @lttlbt Thanks!  Your service fee going UP?  That doesn't sound right....your monthly service fee for the DMP is based upon the debt you enrolled in the beginning.  My service fee was $50 a month throughout the whole program, even after paying off accounts.  I'd call again..that just doesn't sound right!

  • We just paid our debt off this month afters 2.5 years. It is such a good feeling!!  The last twelve months were a true test for us. We agreed to pay a larger payment to the final (& largest) creditor.  It finally feels like all of that scrimping & saving was worth it. Now I just want to settle into a savings plan so we don't fall back into bad habits. I want a fund for things we need & for emergencies.  I never again want to tell our children, " Sorry we just don't have the money for that right now." Luckily, our situation had not affected our retirement accounts or college accounts. Looking forward to pushing forward and paying the mortgage & car off now that credit card debit is not hanging over our heads!

  • Congrats, vdingee!!!  That's awesome that your situation didn't affect your retirement or college accounts....I wish I could say the same! Good luck on pushing to eliminate those remaining debts..I know you can do it!  I hope you'll come back here and keep the community updated on your progress - it's great to hear of fellow customer's success!

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