Consumer debt. Credit cards, car loans, student loans, personal loans. The list can go on and on and on. And it seems like the monthly payments do too. When I was massively in debt in 1999 ($81,477 to be exact!) I felt like there was no end in sight to my problem. And none of my creditors cared. This Bible verse from Proverbs 22:7 perfectly summed up my view of my life back then, “Poor people are slaves of the rich. Borrow money and you are the lender’s slave” (GNT). It felt like VISA, MasterCard and American Express all owned me.
How Many of These Questions Can You Answer YES?
- Have you been surprised to have a credit card purchase declined because you were in denial about the balance amount?
- Is the amount of your debt so monstrous that you have trouble sleeping?
- Do you dread going to the mailbox because a statement with a huge balance might be in there?
- Do you feel low and emotionally defeated by your debt?
- Are you too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to a family member or friend about your debt situation?
- Do you feel helpless, hopeless and alone about your financial situation?
- Do you think that getting out of debt is only a dream?
I answered Yes to all seven of them. I had 12 credit cards and a personal loan so the odds were pretty good that one of these was waiting for me in the mailbox on a daily basis. My family and friends thought I was successfully self-employed so how could I approach any of them with the truth? So I decided that I would get out of this gigantic debt problem by “earning my way out.” Things will change soon, I kept telling myself. But I was just in denial about my situation.
Here are Seven More Questions that I Can Help You Answer YES To:
- Would you like peace of mind and a feeling of calmness?
- Would you like to see a light at the end of the tunnel?
- Would you like to have guidance and encouragement from a great listener?
- Would you like to feel someone is compassionate towards your circumstances and not judging you?
- Would you like to gain valuable insights about your spending behavior and not be lectured to about how you messed up?
- Would you like to have a helpful friend develop with you a manageable, step-by-step plan that gets you out of debt?
- Would you like that friend to walk the walk with you all the way to the end?
And how about a bonus question…Would You Like to Get Out of Debt and Pay HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS LESS Than a Credit Counselor or Attorney Will Charge You?
What do You do When You Have $81,477 of Credit Card Debt?
My name is Phil Danley. I have battled with debt twice in my life. The first time was in 1999 when I finally had to face reality and confront my $81,477 of credit card and personal loan debt.
I “paid it off” through the only methods I was aware of back then…Credit counseling and then bankruptcy. Neither of these options were free! The credit counseling agency charged me a $25 initial set-up fee and $25 per month. $325 and a year later, I still ended up filing for bankruptcy and paying over $1000 in court fees and attorney fees.
As I later learned, most people in credit counseling drop out and many file for bankruptcy. And neither of these is cheap!
“Fewer than 10 percent of consumers completed their agreements with Colorado debt-settlement and credit counseling companies, by either paying off or settling all of their debts, between 2006 and 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado attorney general’s office.” – Denver Business Journal, 10/15/09.
“In 2008, consumers paid an average of $495 for credit counseling and $1666 for debt settlement. (This amount doesn’t reflect total contract fees, which are typically paid during the entire term for credit counseling and during the first half of the term for debt settlement).” -Steve Rhode, getoutofdebt.org, 10/15/09
“Nationwide, the average attorney fee for a Chapter 7 case is $1250” and “Nationally, the average is around $3000” for a Chapter 13 case -Allan Bloomfield, National Bankruptcy Forum, 1/27/14
On top of the attorney fee, the 2015 Bankruptcy court filing fees are $335 for a Chapter 7 case and $310 for a Chapter 13 case. You also must take a Credit Counseling class before the trustee accepts your case, and a Debtor Education class before the court discharges your case. Each course will cost $20-$50.
So a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will probably cost you about $1700. More than $3300 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And at least $500 for a credit counseling agency.
In 2004 I no longer had this debt hanging over my head but I also had not learned my lesson!
From the time of my bankruptcy until 2010 we had moved to Idaho, purchased a home, and slowly built up $28,200 in non-mortgage debt. One credit card, a credit account for bedroom furniture, braces for our son and a new car. Our income covered the payments but it was a nagging feeling every month when I paid these bills. I paid extra to each of them but the statements kept coming every month and it seemed like we weren’t making any progress. There had to be a way to pay these off.
We spent time researching what others had done and by trial and error we figured out a plan that worked for us. It took 17 months but by going on offense we paid all of them off. In 2012 we put the same focus on our mortgage. And on August 22, 2014 we paid it off too!
We have been completely debt free since August 22, 2014. We still use a credit card so we have not switched to a cash only lifestyle. But we pay that bill in full every month.
We have an emergency fund of six months’ worth of expenses. And this year I was able to max out my 401(k) for the first time. When you have no debt you have options. You are no longer a slave to creditors!
Search “How to Get Out of Debt” on Amazon and You Will Discover There Are 1883 Books For Sale! So Why Will 2 MILLION Americans File For Bankruptcy This Year? Why do 77 MILLION Americans Have Debt in Collections?
Because the focus is on what I call “head knowledge”. We understand in our minds that we have a debt problem and we should deal with it. But that is as far as it goes. Back in 2010 I knew that my debts were getting larger again, but I figured I would “earn my way out” of my problem and it would be magically taken care of.
There was no “heart knowledge” of debt for me. It was just a number in my head at that point. But once I had an emotional feeling about my debts, when that $28,200 figure finally sank into my guts and screamed at me that I WAS IN DEBT, I was able to make the changes necessary to become 100% debt free four years later.
In other words, you know that you’re in debt, but you don’t KNOW that you’re in debt. And until your heart feels the pain of debt that your head already knows, you won’t make the behavioral changes that are necessary to begin the process of getting out of debt and to stick with it when life throws you a curveball. So how do you get your heart aligned with your head?
Work With a Debt Coach Who Has a Personal Track Record of Getting Out of Debt and Staying Out of Debt!
There are many books and courses out there that have information about getting out of debt. Earn more and spend less. Create a budget and live within it. Great, logical information. But a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work. If you are already working a 60 hour work week, can you realistically work another job to earn more money like the books suggest? Your debt situation is unique to you.
I want to be your debt coach! And I am hoping that you want to hire me. How can I work best for you to give you the training and help that you want yet still work within your budget? I have created four options for you so you can pick a plan that works best for you:
is my most hands-on help…live coaching sessions. We will meet once per week via videoconferencing like Skype. Or if you are more comfortable with just a phone call each week, we can do that too. Each session is 45-60 minutes long. Together we will work to develop your plan to get out of debt and help you to change whatever is holding you back. This four week package costs $499 and you get access to me for help for the entire length of time that it takes you to finish your debt plan. I call it “You’re Never Alone Email Support”.
is weekly coaching from me via audio and video recordings. I will send these to you once a week for four weeks, along with homework assignments. You’ll email the homework back to me and I will coach you online. This four week package costs $179.
is a package of four audio recordings from me. You will get my coaching in four weekly lessons and if you spend time each week answering the many questions that I ask, you will have success. You will have access to these recordings forever so you can play them as often as you wish. This audio package costs $59.
is a unique offering. This is joining my membership site. Each week I host a live one hour training phone call, or send out a one hour training video, or send out a one hour training audio recording. Plus I answer your email questions during the week! The cost of the membership is $29 per month and if you meet your goals in 60 days, you can leave the membership with no questions asked and no hard feelings!
Perhaps you are concerned about paying $499 for my live coaching. I’ll make you a deal. If you are seriously considering this coaching package, please send me an email so we can schedule a free consultation phone call to discuss your debt situation.
What Will It Cost You If You Don’t Start To Get Out Of Debt Today?
Cambridge Credit Counseling annually releases data about its clients. Its most recent data show the average consumer credit counseling client has $19,605 of non-mortgage debt, divided amongst 6 credit cards and loans, at a 21.8% interest rate. If this is you, then every month that you delay facing your debt issue is costing you $356 just in interest and finance charges!! Invest this in yourself and get out of debt starting TODAY! Pick the training package that is best for you right now:Live Coaching Package for $499 Online Coaching Package for $179 Audio Coaching Package for $59 Monthly Membership Training for $29/month
P.S. If you have any questions about my coaching programs, please contact me at Phil@ConsumerDebtCoach.com. If I don’t believe that I can help you then I will let you know that up front! My goal is to make your life better by getting you out of debt once and for all.