Real Stories Episode 22: Lavell – From “Swiping Like a Ninja” to Debt-Free

  • December 15, 2021
  • By: GreenPath Financial Wellness

18-year-old Lavell received an envelope right before Christmas: a credit card he didn’t apply for. That Christmas was very merry as he used the credit card to give generously to his loved ones. But what started as a gesture of kindness snowballed into a mountain of debt: $30,000 owed on one card alone. Eventually, Lavell found GreenPath through a co-worker. What did he do next?

Key Moments

2:22 Lavell receives good financial advice from his mother that he doesn’t initially follow.

3:15 He “swipes like a ninja” after receiving a new credit card as an 18-year-old near Christmas time. The debt on the card eventually grows to nearly $30,000.

8:42 Lavell recalls how most of his debt stemmed from helping others with money he didn’t have.

11:34 He finds out about GreenPath but is initially convinced he can handle his debt on his own.

13:10 He decides to reach out to GreenPath and after a long session, decides to move forward on a Debt Management Program.

16:52 The interest rate on Lavell’s credit card drops from 24% to 2%!

20:01 He has doubts about continuing on the Debt Management Plan when he learns that he won’t be able to make any more purchases on his cards.

24:30 Lavell meets his future wife, who is impressed about his focus on becoming debt free.

28:47 He takes a step back after signing up for a new card with a tempting offer.

36:44 Lavell shares what inspired him to share his story.

38:58 He gives advice to others to “receive the help.”

Practical Tips

44:59 Recognizing the value of having conversations about money

46:20 Hurting yourself by helping others (college savings vs. retirement)

48:37 Making fixed debt payments (and savings contributions)

50:30 Using a credit card like a debit card to ensure you can always pay it off

52:47 Becoming financially healthy to open up unexpected doors

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Music by Hir-O