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Free From Worry With LSS Center for Financial Resources

Anyone who has been in debt knows the weight it puts on all areas of life. As loans continue to grow, so does the pressure to pay them off. Feelings of guilt rise up with every small purchase. It seems impossible to catch up.

But even when facing the most massive financial burdens, the LSS Center for Financial Resources provides options and a place to start — using measurable goals to help people sort out their finances, ensuring they are healthy, safe and accepted.

“Grace” first connected with LSS during COVID, when businesses were shut down and the income she depended on from certain part-time jobs was lost suddenly.

“I wasn’t getting the income that I was used to. And then it continued to get worse because the interest rates ended up going higher. And so at that point, I didn’t know what to do,” Grace said.

Grace was still dealing with debt from her time in college. She received her undergraduate degree in 2012 and her master’s in 2017. Because of the loans she took out while she was a student, she owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Factoring in living expenses, personal loans and overspending on multiple credit cards, Grace was in a spot that she knew she couldn’t pull herself out of.

“They asked, ‘What do you have?’ And I pulled up every single credit card, every personal loan, every car payment — literally everything I own or that I owe money for. And then at that point, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m toast,'” Grace explained.

But Grace wasn’t toast. She just needed help making a plan.

‘We Can Actually Fix This’

Grace’s financial counselor was honest about her situation and quickly assured her that it was possible to get things under control.

“They were like, ‘It’s bad, yes, but it’s manageable.’ And that’s something that I never thought was possible before I went to LSS,” she said. “I thought I had backed myself into a big corner and there was nothing I could do about it. And they said, ‘No, we can actually fix this.'”

Together, Grace and her counselor walked through a debt-management plan that addressed everything from credit cards to car payments. Their regular meetings helped Grace stay on track and make adjustments as needed.

“It wasn’t just a ‘here’s what you should do, good luck.’ They actually follow up with you through emails and phone calls, and they meet with you,” she said.

This sense of structure allowed Grace to navigate a season of change and uncertainty, and helped her work toward her goals.

“They were willing to work with my creditors and give me tools to help me achieve what I want within a very short time frame,” Grace said. “It was a good way for me to get back on my feet and know that I’m making progress.”

‘They Made It Feel Like Everything Was Going to Be Ok’

Excluding student loans, Grace is now on track to be debt-free in a few years.

“They made it feel like everything was going to be OK. I feel like I’m more in control of what I’m doing, where my money is going and where it needs to be,” she said.

Because of her debt-management plan, Grace is more confident in her spending decisions and financial goals. She has the freedom to enjoy life without feelings of guilt.

“It allows me to do things like grab a cup of coffee or see a friend for a lunch date without thinking I can’t afford it. I actually get to have a social life because I’m on this plan. It opens up possibilities that I didn’t have before because I was either a pinching pennies or throwing it on the credit card,” she said.

To anyone who’s struggling with finances and thinking about getting help, Grace encourages them to reach out and give it a try.

“Even in that initial meeting, they were very personable, very welcoming,” she said. “There’s no contracts, no obligation that you have to come back so many times a year. You can just go in and say: ‘Hey, here’s what I got. Here’s my cards on the table. What can you do to help?’ They’ll give you options to work with. They’ll go through all the numbers, go through forms that help you look at every single part of your financial life, and they’ll work with you on it.”

For help getting your finances back on track, contact LSS today.