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What is your background with debt and how did you conquer the financial obstacles in your life?
I racked up the debt in college, and took out student loans, even though I had scholarships and didn’t need them.
I’m still paying on the student loans, but the interest is much lower, thanks to consolidation in 2005. A combination of earning more money, and making debt pay down a priority helped my family get back on track.
How did you discover you had a desire to help other people overcome their debt problems?
When I started writing about finance, I did it for the paycheck. I still do it for the paycheck, of course, but I realized that many people are in the same boat I was in. I discovered that many people really do lack basic information about how to build wealth and get out of debt.
What is your WHY behind wanting to be a sponsor of the Debt Movement?
I wanted a way to help people. I’ve been helped in my own life, and it seems right to, in turn, help others. I think the Debt Movement can be a way to help others get out of debt.
What’s the biggest hurdle you see people face when they first decide to pay off debt?
Discouragement is a big one. You start to pay down debt, and takes time, and your balances are reduced slowly. Meanwhile, you’re giving up things that you like.
The whole process can be discouraging. To me, overcoming the discouragement was about celebrating the victories, as well as making more money so that I didn’t have to give up on everything I enjoyed while paying down debt.
What’s your number one piece of advice to help people stay out of debt for good?
Examine your financial habits, discover the true problem, and tackle that issue. Debt is usually the symptom, rather than the actual problem.