Pay Off Debt in 5 Years or Less with Help from Non-Profit Counseling – CBS Austin

  • November 29, 2018
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Featuring Tina Ponder, Partner Relations Specialist

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults carry credit card debt from month-to-month, according to the 2017 Financial Literacy Survey conducted on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

For many Americans, breaking the cycle of relying on credit cards can feel impossible. However, there is a way to get lower interest rates and monthly payments without paying massive up-front fees.

Four years ago, Lenora Edwards was living under a mountain of debt.

“I was $126,000 in debt in credit cards and lines of credit. I even said it out loud, ‘I’m too smart for this,'” Edwards says.

Now, she’s debt-free with help from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling — or NFCC. It’s a nationwide network of non-profit agencies that will help you get out of debt for a monthly fee you can afford.

Tina Ponder is a former counselor at GreenPath— a nonprofit that’s part of the NFCC network. Her colleagues guide people out of overwhelming debt, foreclosure, bankruptcy and credit challenges. In 2017, GreenPath helped 52,000 households pay off nearly $200 Million in debt.

“You might have student loans, or you might want to buy a home, or you might want to start a family and finances may just be impeding on your ability to do that,” Ponder says.

For people who want to aggressively pay off debt in five years or less, agencies like GreenPath will create a Debt Management Plan for a fee ranging between $10-$50 per month depending on how many debts you are working to pay off.

“Even though there is a minimal fee, you’ll generally be paying less over time than you would on your own,” says Ponder.

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