We’ve dubbed her Kim Bravery because she not only agreed to do a credit counseling session with Thomas Nitzsche of Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions, she agreed to do it in real time, on the air, with everyone listening. They went over her real budget numbers, her real credit report (and actual credit score), and her debt consolidation plan all live, on the air.
Kim represented millions of Americans on the show this Sunday. She has a steady job and a family and is struggling to keep up with her bills and managing her debt. This was most likely the first time she’s ever sat down with a professional and went through every line of her budget and reviewed her credit report. You can almost see her wincing or bracing herself during some parts of the show (don’t worry Kim, we would have too!). And she walked away feeling relieved and HOPEFUL.
She posted this afterwards on Facebook:
It was an amazing experience!! Cannot tell you how much I appreciated Bondfire Radio family support, before, during and after!!! Setting my goals in motion!!! There is HOPE!!!!!!! Plus……… after I got thru the nerves………….. IT WAS REALLY FUN!!!
Tips and resources that Thomas discussed on the show are:
Non-profit Debt Counseling: Go to NFCC.org (National Foundation for Credit Counseling) to make sure the debt counselor you choose to work with is actually legitimate. You can also check the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org). Or just listen to the show and call Clearpoint! They are legit!
MyLifeAfterDebt.org: Share you story about how you got out of debt or how you’re working on getting out of debt and you could win $1,000 in a monthly drawing, or the grand prize of $10,000! And at the very least, you’ll be able to share your story and see how other people are working to get out of debt too.
Hospital Bills: it is always worth it to negotiate with your original provider, BEFORE it goes to collections. Ask them about financial aid. Even if you get denied, the act of applying for financial aid often means they can extend the payment period (i.e. from 1 year to 2 years) and reduce you monthly payment amount.
Behind on Utilities?: You can reach out to United Way’s 211 or St. Vicent de Paul’s Society for help speaking with your electric, gas, water, and other utilities companies.
Cut the Cable: Kim’s cable bill was a whopping $250/month because Buckeye Cable decided to take advantage of the monopoly the have on the town. Thomas suggested looking into AppleTV, Chromecast, Amazong Fire, Netflix, and Hulu Plus to replace astronomical cable bills at a fraction of the cost.
Brad’s Deals: Thomas peruses this site every few weeks to plan out gifts for Christmas shopping, birthdays, etc. This way, you not only get a good deal on things you would buy for someone anyway, you’re also not spending a big chunk of money at once come December.
I hope you all find some time to listen to the show, especially if you’ve considered going into debt counseling, but were maybe too afraid to pick up the phone. The scariest part is that first step and your debt will still be there whether you make the call or not. Let Kim and Thomas ease you into the process.
For all the tips and to hear Kim’s full story, listen to the show here: