When Sarah’s* medical problems began, they quickly snowballed into financial disaster, which only worsened her medical issues. Even as her health improved, she was still left to deal with her finances.
Sarah explained that her medical condition had prevented her from doing much at all for several months; a task as simple as writing a check was beyond her physical ability. Accounts were in default and important services had been canceled, yet she was not capable of making the necessary calls to the creditors and utilities. During the peak of her medical crisis, Sarah relied on a credit card for her living expenses though had not made a payment in several months. She constantly received calls from the credit card company about the delinquent status of her account, which had a minimum payment of over $1000 to bring current. Sarah was overwhelmed and unsure of how to find a resolution. That’s when she was referred to the HUD certified Financial Counseling Department at Jackson-Vinton Community Action, Inc.
Her first visit to JVCAI meant driving an hour to reach the offices, though Sarah knew she needed the help and was willing to give it a try. She and the counselor worked together to develop a budget and goals. Phone calls were made to restore necessary services, and negotiations with the credit card company successfully reduced Sarah’s interest rate from 15.74% to zero without penalties or late fees which created a monthly payment that fit within her budget. Sarah was well on her way to gaining back her financial stability.
Sarah continues to meet with her counselor at JVCAI periodically to keep her budget on track. She recently wrote to her counselor, “Thanks so much for all the things you’ve done for me! I so desperately needed someone to help get me on my feet again. I’m wobbling some on my new legs, but I feel really good about this new beginning!”
The counselors at JVCAI are certified in Financial Literacy, Foreclosure Mitigation, Pre and Post-Purchase Home Ownership Counseling and Family Development. For more information, visit http://www.jvcai.org/.
*Name(s) changed to maintain client confidentiality