Settlement or Management? Which is Right for You?

October 12, 2018

So you’ve run up a little credit card debt.  How much do I mean by ‘a little’?  Well, I’m not really sure, but enough that you are aware of it.  For the sake of this blog post, let’s say it’s enough that the minimum payments are perhaps a struggle some months.  Maybe it’s even enough that you are not making payments because you can’t afford them that month.

Well, let’s talk about your options for dealing with debt. Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing With “THE CALL”

June 23, 2015

“Pay NOW or else!”

“Or else what?”

“Or else we will have you arrested, have your kids taken away, tell your friends and family how bad you are at paying what you owe, publish your debts in the local newspaper, continue to call at all hours of the night, notify your employer that you owe us a lot of money, and whatever else it takes to get you to pay up instead of being a @#(!%……” Read the rest of this entry »

Why Cussing Out the Bank Won’t Work

April 9, 2015

If you aren’t aware, the Center for Financial Resources provides a variety of financial education classes, most of them for free. At the end of each class, we ask students to fill out an evaluation as a part of always improving our services. Last week I got some new feedback I had never gotten before. When asked to share something they learned and will use, one client responded with “Screw the banks!” Except their exact quote just a bit more ‘colorful’.

Let me be very clear, this is not a concept I in any way advocated for in my class. It was, unfortunately, one of those moments when one student shared a story and someone else only heard what they wanted to hear. “What kind of a story that would elicit such a response,” you ask? Well, let me share…. Read the rest of this entry »

A Day in the Life of a Financial Counselor

September 29, 2014

Editors note: This week, each department is following the theme of “A Day In The Life Of…”. In order to help people better understand what we do, we want to share a bit of what each day looks like for us. Today is your opportunity to learn a little more about the Center for Financial Resources. Please check back each day to find out about a new department within the LSS family.

“I have so many bills from the hospital, they are piling up. I don’t even open them anymore since I have no way to pay for them.”

“I want to get my own place, but I can barely get by each month with my school loan.”

“I couldn’t take care of everything so I used my credit cards to make ends meet. Now I can’t pay for those either.”

“I am trying to get a fresh start, and I have no clue on what I should do. I need help.”

Everyday someone calls in or comes in with something different, and they areCassie finally ready to make a change. I get calls from individuals who just need a question answered about the apartment they are renting, or someone wanting to meet to see what their budget is, or where their debt is and get pointed in the right direction.

There is no such thing as a typical day as a financial counselor. Whenever somebody comes in their situation is different than anyone else’s, but the most important thing for anyone to remember is that everyone has something that they are working on improving. I have had days where I see a single mother or father raising kids on their own who need help finding assistance and taking care of their debt, I have seen married couples who did not know how far in the hole they were and need a budget to get back on track, someone wanting help looking at their credit report to see what’s out there, the list goes on and on.

When someone leaves my office they are ready to take the next steps to getting their finances in order. They may be starting on our Debt Management Program, consolidating their debt, going through the steps to refinance or modify their home, or just taking each step one at a time and remembering to breath.

In what ever way the day is going it is always filled with helping others, and it is truly something I enjoy. It is not easy for someone to share their situation, but just remember that walking in the door is usually the hardest part for making a change. Speaking for myself and all the other financial counselors out there, we just want to help get things moving in the right direction. So don’t be afraid to come see us!

I see:

  • College students looking at school loan consolidation
  • Single mothers/fathers raising a family on their own and struggling
  • Husbands or wives with a spouse on disability
  • Couples trying to get their budget/debt all figured out
  • Business owners barely breaking even
  • Individuals on the path to recovery from addiction and ready to get finances in order

I help:

  • All of these people alleviate some stress by knowing that they can do with their situation
  • They usually see that it wasn’t as bad as the thought… or even if it is, they have a betterunderstanding of what to do now.
  • Landlord/tenant phone calls
  • Filing bankruptcy and what to do after
  • Calling creditors and collections with the person
  • I help those on our debt management plan get their payments to creditors
  • I help look over Credit Bureau Reports to see what’s been reported

written by Cassandra Prusha
Image courtesy Cassandra Prusha

Lessons From Robin Williams

August 12, 2014

It is a bit of a sad week this week. When my wife broke the news to me, my first reaction was to question whether it was real or just some online rumor. Alas, it was the truth – Robin Williams is gone. He has been in a lot of movies in his career, but as I watch the tributes given in his honor, I am amazed at the roles he played. As entertaining as Robin Williams usually was, there were also some incredibly deep and profound roles. So, today we pay a bit of a tribute to Robin Williams in our post. Read the rest of this entry »

Time is On Your Side Against Debt

August 4, 2014

“Tii-ii-ii-ime….. is on my side. Yes it is.” I’ll never forget that line of the song performed by The Rolling Stones. To be honest, it was the use of the song in the movie “Fallen” that really got it stuck in my head. I won’t ruin the movie for you, but let’s just say that the singing of that song was a sign of definite trouble. Read the rest of this entry »

How to be a Homebuyer

February 3, 2014

Is homeownership in your future? 

Trying to figure out the “right” time to buy? 

CFR-HomeownershipHere are some tips to help you get started.

Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Debt Survival Guide

January 28, 2014

Medical bills sending your reeling?

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 1 in 3 Americans report having difficulty paying their medical bills – that is, they have had problems affording medical bills within the past year, or they are gradually paying past bills over time, or they have bills they can’t afford to pay at all.1 Read the rest of this entry »

Ho-Ho-Holiday Spending

November 29, 2013
Some rights reserved by kelp1966

Some rights reserved by kelp1966

It’s that magical time of year–full of deals, steals, bargains–and least we forget, the pressure to spend, spend, spend.

(of course, there is way more to the holidays than buying stuff – but today is Black Friday…)

Check out these ho-ho-holiday spending tips to keep your budget in the black this year:

Read the rest of this entry »

Finances & Domestic Violence

October 28, 2013

Did you know that financial abuse occurs in over 98% of abusive relationships?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – and we wanted to take the time to focus on financial abuse and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim.

Purple%20Ribbon Read the rest of this entry »

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