Jerry moved to Michigan some twenty years ago as a widower, when he met Sue, a single mom of ten years. They married and brought together a literal “Brady Bunch” family of six kids. Jerry recalls coming home from their honeymoon and seeing six noses pressed up against the living room window, awaiting their arrival.
Jerry said that, at the height of their credit history, they had 17 credit cards in rotation. “It was so easy to get a credit card with a high limit at the time,” he said. Debt started to pile up across the cards. Sue realized, in hindsight, that something might be wrong when Jerry asked her to put their two daughters’ wedding receptions on credit. “That should have been a clue,” she said.
Years went by and Jerry found himself at his local credit union, looking for financial assistance to get his debt under control.
After discussing different options, including bankruptcy, it was suggested that the Bailey’s reach out to GreenPath, for assistance.
“We felt that bankruptcy was not an option, as it was our Christian duty to pay back our debts,” Jerry said.
Once they met their counselor, a five-year plan was established. They recall that the first few years of the plan were difficult, as the decision was made to take on more work to pay back their debts. Jerry got a second job at a local hospital and put off fixing a second family car, to stay on track.
Partway through their debt management plan, Sue required extensive foot surgery and was unable to work, which caused their income to drop severely, even with Jerry working a second job. “We went to our GreenPath counselor, who worked with our creditors in getting our payments adjusted for a few months, while Sue healed and got back to work,” Jerry recalled. “That extra bit of help from GreenPath really made the difference.”
After about five years, the Bailey’s received the phone call that their debt management plan was completed and they paid off more than $92,000 in debt.
“I was floored to get that call,” said Jerry. “I had to ask them to repeat that we were truly done.”
Sue summed up their GreenPath experience by saying, “GreenPath saved our lives financially, and gave our lives back to us.”