My Secure Advantage

Success Story: Overcoming Financial Obstacles

Financial problems are particularly frustrating when they’re out of your control.  Mina always had good credit and kept a budget, but when health issues put her on disability, her income was cut in half.
By MSA Staff

Financial problems are particularly frustrating when they’re out of your control.  Mina always had good credit and kept a budget, but when health issues put her on disability, her income was cut in half.  With bankruptcy threatening her financial future, Mina took advantage of MSA – a financial wellness program offered by her insurance company.

When Mina first entered the MSA program, she took a survey that measured her financial well-being.  She scored 1.5 out of 10, which indicated high financial stress and low financial wellness.  From there she was paired with Aaron, a Money Coach, who specializes in budgeting and debt.  Together, they hit the ground running and got Mina well on her way to a better financial future.

Assess the Situation

First, they mapped out where Mina stood financially and where she wanted to go from there.  Mina was facing long-term disability for the next four months and would need spinal surgery the following year.  Unfortunately, she also had $70k in loans for her son’s tuition, $22k in credit card debt and $4k in medical bills.  Needless to say, Mina was worried.

Money Coach Aaron immediately sent her spreadsheets so that they could develop a more detailed spending plan:

“Aaron was very helpful in discussing my situation and making suggestions with regards to budgeting and spending.  Right away he sent me spreadsheets to lay out my actual expenses, so I could be more aware…. I was very pleased with my interaction with Aaron.  He is very patient and helpful.  With the spreadsheets, he went step-by-step with me to explain and offer suggestions.”

Even though Mina already had a budget, walking through an official budget worksheet with a her Money Coach made all the difference.  Aaron pointed out ways to improve that Mina hadn’t thought of, and he helped her account for every single penny.  Overall, taking a more in-depth look gave Mina some peace of mind and more control over her money.

Next, they determined how to tackle debt.

Know the Options

Coach Aaron wanted Mina to understand her options so that she could make a well-informed decision:

  • They discussed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and got Mina a referral to a trusted bankruptcy attorney who could better explain the ins and outs.
  • They talked about credit counseling services, which could allow Mina to consolidate her credit card debts, get a better interest rate, and install monthly payments that are more manageable.
  • Aaron also helped her establish an income-based repayment plan for her $70k college loans.  That way, her monthly loan payments would better align with her limited income.

Here’s what Mina had to say about it:

“He always made sure I understood, and I was able to apply the ideas to my own situation.  He never made me feel embarrassed about my financial situation or my bad decisions but offered tools to try to turn things around and be more aware.  Aaron is very personable and kind.  He is very knowledgeable and is someone I would trust with my finances.”

With the options presented and Aaron’s education along the way, Mina could proceed with more confidence.

Make a Plan and Move Forward

Mina decided to go with the credit counseling services instead of bankruptcy, and she is diligently decreasing her debts.  With her new and improved budget, she feels better about where her money is going, and it’s helping her financially prepare for her spinal surgery, so she doesn’t end up with more medical debt.

Overall, Mina has enjoyed working with Coach Aaron through the My Secure Advantage (MSA) financial wellness program, and her progress is quite evident.  She took the financial well-being survey and increased her score to 3.625.  That means she improved her financial well-being by 142% within the first three months of working with her Money Coach!

Want to overcome the financial obstacles in your life?  Work with your own MSA Money Coach.  Call 888-724-2326.

Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific personalized investment, financial planning, tax, legal or accounting advice. We recommend that you consult an attorney, tax advisor or accountant regarding your unique circumstances.

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