Don and Carole - GreenPath is worth more than gold to us

Whereas couples in years past began their marriage starting from scratch, couples today can bring along financial baggage. Oftentimes, those bags are filled with credit cards bills, medical bills, student loan obligations, child payment responsibilities and past due car payments. This was the situation for Carole and Don Carroll. Even when Don was laid off and out of work, credit still flowed freely, and seeing no other way out, they took advantage of every offer that came their way.

Eventually, the lenders noticed that the balances were growing, and increased the Annual Percentage Rates, making meeting even the minimum monthly payments difficult. Wanting to do the right thing, the Carroll’s juggled their bills, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Hiding their financial problems from their friends, it became increasingly difficult to bow out of invitations. Routine home and car maintenance had to be put on hold. Understating the obvious, money was tight.

Things got so bad that they considered bankruptcy, but it simply didn’t feel right. They’d always been taught to honor their obligations, and paying their debts was no different. Nonetheless, as well-meaning as they were, life events such as heart surgery kept getting in the way of financial freedom.

Interestingly enough, both Carole and Don worked in the financial services industry. These were people who were supposed to know better.

They woke up one day to realize they were $88,000 in debt. APRs that began as single digits had sky-rocketed to above 30 percent.

The credit card companies were still contacting them, but this time instead of with a new credit card offer, it was a call wondering when they would get paid.

Each literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown, the Carrolls cried “uncle” and reached out to GreenPath Financial Wellness for help. They admit to being scared to walk through the door for their appointment, anxious to find a solution, but afraid there might not be one. “We were pleasantly surprised when we discovered that our counselor didn’t judge us, or make us feel bad because of our situation,” Carole commented. “They treated us with respect and honesty.”

“GreenPath organized our finances, and we actually had more cash in hand each month after paying our bills,” said Don. “Three and one-half years later, we’re now both in our 50’s with credit scores that went up over 200 points while paying off our debts through GreenPath; we are now debt free, and intend to remain that way.”

Never knowing what life holds, Don has once again been laid off from his job, but there’s a difference this time.

“Knowing you’re debt free makes it much easier to get through each day,” said Carole.

“The Carrolls were ideal clients,” said Jane McNamara, president and CEO of GreenPath Financial Wellness. “They were willing to do what it takes to reach their financial goals, and had a positive attitude throughout the program. It was our pleasure to nominate them as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling Graduate Client of the Year (left, Don and Carole Carroll with GreenPath counselor Peter Carrasquillo), and an honor to have their hard work recognized in this manner.”