Creating A Plan For Student Loans & Credit Card Debt
By Ashley Bublick | Honor CU
When I graduated from college, I thought I was on top of the world. It was one of those big milestones in life, up there with buying a car or house, or starting a family. But that feeling didn’t last long. I was suddenly hit with a financial overload; I had thousands of dollars in student loans I had to start paying off, and I had credit card debt from those “I’ll just put it on my card so I know it’s taken care of, and then I’ll pay it off next month.” The truth is I could only afford minimum payments.
I suddenly realized I needed help – more help than getting another credit card or taking out a personal loan to pay for things. I had heard of GreenPath Financial Wellness while visiting my local Honor Credit Union location, and I thought maybe it was time to give them a call so they could help me create a budget and pay off debt. The member specialist at Honor told me the initial consultation with GreenPath was free, so I figured why not give it a try.
Preparing for the call
Before I called, I thought about my current situation and came up with three to five financial goals I wanted to achieve. I was also justifying why I was seeking out professional help, and not wasting anyone’s time. I selected to go through a total review of my finances.
My five financial goals:
- Payoff credit card debt
- Save three months of living expenses (emergency fund)
- Save for an apartment down payment
- Pay down my student loan debt, which will help in purchasing a home in the next few years.
- Save $20,000 for a home down payment.
How the call went
When I first called, they took down my necessary details and gave me a client ID, one that I’ll always provide when I call. I was then transferred to my financial counselor, and we talked for almost an hour. First, she asked me what my goals were and took down all my financial details.
Information GreenPath needed:
- My income
- Credit card balances and minimum payment amounts
- Weekly food expenses
- Loan balances and payment amounts
- Housing expenses (including utilities like electric, gas, internet, etc.)
- Any other weekly or monthly expenses
My unique plan:
After receiving all my information, she ran my numbers, and showed me my goals were easily attainable! She did adjust my timeline for some of these and ensured me that I’m in a good financial position and not drowning like I thought I was! I would have to shave off $20 here and there, which was an amount I was more than willing to do knowing it’ll drastically help me in the long run. For example, I just won’t eat out as much as I had been.
After the call
An hour after I hung up, I received my financial plan and budget. I was told to contact them anytime if I had questions or needed to talk something out. Included in this email was information on student loan counseling, which I’ll do. Did I mention how great it is that my first call and all of this helpful information was FREE! There are some costs to other services they provide, but that is dependent on which ones you select.
Honor has partnered with GreenPath to help members navigate through any financial situation, whether it’s getting a handle on maxed credit cards, to paying off student loans, to saving a down payment for purchasing a home. GreenPath is an excellent resource for your financial needs.
How GreenPath can help:
- Debt consolidation
- Online classes and webinars
- Financial calculators
- Credit score repair
- Bankruptcy assistance
- And much more!