My Secure Advantage

Fixing Finances with Expert Education

Knowing the right moves to turn around your finances is easier with expert help. Working with a personal Money Coach at My Secure Advantage (MSA) can provide education on how you might get a handle on your finances.
By MSA Staff

Knowing the right moves to turn around your finances is easier with expert help. Working with a personal Money Coach at My Secure Advantage (MSA) can provide education on how you might get a handle on your finances.

Your Money Coach can suggest ways to help you, whether you need to repair your credit, settle delinquent accounts or build up your savings. Together, you can review your financial situation, discuss your goals and develop a game plan.

How One Woman Worked with a Money Coach to Rebuild Her Credit
Robin had a hard year. The end of the 33-year-old’s marriage really hurt her finances. Finding a new place to live forced her to break a lease. That resulted in a $7,000 debt that went into collections along with her other debts.

On top of that, Robin had the overarching stress of maintaining her security clearance: as a U.S. government employee, she had to undergo background checks that included a regular review of her credit report with her supervisor. She worried that the dire state of her finances could put her security clearance in jeopardy.

Robin knew that success would take effort on her part, as well as time, but she was determined to change her financial situation and knew she could do it with the accountability of her MSA Money Coach.

Working with a coach helped her compare her options, create a debt management strategy and repair her credit. They also worked on creating a new budget that would allow her to build some emergency savings.

Steady Progress Over Time
Robin’s improvements took time; however, regular conversations with her Money Coach and use of the MSA tools, like budget worksheets, helped her turn things around dramatically.

During Robin’s initial conversation with her MSA Money Coach, she went over her goals, struggles and other details to establish a clear picture of her financial challenges.

Robin wanted to make sure there was no further damage to her finances. One of the steps her Money Coach suggested was ordering copies of her credit reports to review her accounts and credit history. After all, she needed an accurate picture of her credit to prioritize her debts and decide on her next steps.

Once Robin received her first credit report, she reviewed it with her coach. They worked to make sure she understood it and that the data in it was accurate. They did find some incorrect information, so her coach guided her through the dispute process, explaining how to reach out to creditors and how to keep track of each request as she got it fixed.

That credit report also showed a foreclosure from 2014. Because negative credit information doesn’t stay on a credit report forever; Robin was excited when she realized her foreclosure would soon be removed from her credit report. After carefully analyzing the report, Robin obtained and reviewed her credit reports from the other agencies too.

Robin and her Money Coach went over the other big issue hurting her credit: the two accounts in collections. They talked about whether or not bankruptcy would be viable, because bankruptcy may not be an option for employees with security clearance, and Robin was concerned about losing her job. They also discussed whether or not to try for a settlement that would reduce the total due. Settling and paying the remaining balance isn’t always the best option, but in Robin’s case, a look at all the potential action steps revealed that it was a better option for her than bankruptcy.

The amounts she owed on the accounts in collections included $10,000 from the apartment lease and $1,677 from a credit card. With guidance from her MSA Money Coach, Robin called the collection agency and successfully negotiated the debts down to $5,000 and $1,260 respectively.

Within four months of working with her Money Coach, Robin had gained control of the debt left over after her divorce, and she was confident she was on track. From there, Robin was ready to create a budget that would allow her to start saving while paying off the debts.

The first step was keeping track of her spending using a budgeting app and MSA’s expense tracker.

With helpful tools in hand, Robin became more conscious of her spending patterns. She began noting things she bought that were wants rather than necessities and started limiting her purchases to needed items only. This not only gave Robin more clarity on her cash flow but also empowered her to make adjustments that would help her reach her financial goals, like increasing how much she could put towards savings and debts.

Results Show Big Savings
Robin was still keeping track of her finances a couple of months later. She was accomplishing her goal of diligently sticking with the program, and her perseverance brought amazing results. She had put some money into savings and was down to one more payment on her credit card.

“I was able to pay half of the $5,000,” said Robin. She was excited that she could see progress in her efforts to take action to improve her money management and her credit. After two years, she had paid off debts, established new credit accounts and built up her emergency savings.

“[My Money Coach] has been very understanding about my financial situation… I feel she has given me more confidence on how to protect myself, and [I] am learning so much from the financial budget workbook,” Robin said. “I am very satisfied and would definitely refer it to a friend or relative!”

Commitment Counts
Success requires commitment just like Robin’s. Getting into good financial shape, like getting physically fit, takes time and ongoing effort, especially after major changes in your life. But it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. When you partner with an MSA Money Coach, the two of you will build and refine an action plan that accounts for current priorities and long-term financial goals.

It’s important to stick with the program, as Robin did. The progress you make will give you financial confidence to help you continue to improve your situation. Plus, you’ll have the support and accountability of a Money Coach to help along the way.

Robin’s goal of eliminating debt is on track. By next year, her foreclosure and collections will all be off her credit reports. On top of that, she continues to put money into savings on a regular basis.

Working with a Money Coach is empowering Robin to take regular steps toward overcoming the financial aftermath of her divorce and rebuilding her life. With her debt gone, Robin can soon start saving for a home or retirement. And she knows now that she has confidence, perseverance and skills to accomplish whatever her next financial goal may be.

Call today to learn how an MSA Money Coach can help you achieve your financial independence and success.

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