How ACCC Empowered a Low-Income Family to Pay Off Debt

or Elena and Marco Rivera, living in a modest neighborhood with their two children, lived by the mantra hard work and dedication pays off. Despite their best efforts, the Rivera family’s financial situation was still unstable. Living on a shoestring budget with income barely covering the essentials, they found themselves in a daunting cycle of consumer debt.  These conditions was further exacerbated by unexpected expenses and the high cost of living. Therefore figuring out how to pay off debt was their utmost priority.

Rivera family’s journey to pay off debt with ACCC’s debt management Plan is another testament to ACCC’s success.

The Spiral into Debt: A Glimpse into the Rivera’s Challenges

Unexpected Medical Bills: A sudden illness in the family led to hospital visits and accumulating medical expenses, far beyond what their limited insurance would cover. Rivera’s were living paycheck to paycheck and therefore saving for an emergency was not their forte. When the medical expenses hit they really relied on credit cards to manage the situation.

Reliance on Credit for Emergencies: With no savings to speak of, the Riveras resorted to using high-interest credit cards for emergencies, further deepening their debt. Although it looked like a temporary solution at the time, they soon realized this is putting their financials in a dire situation.

Cost of Living: Rising rent, utility bills, and the basic needs of a growing family stretched their finances to the breaking point. The socio economic changes post covid era was not in their favor either. With increasing costs on almost everything making ends meet without relying on credit cards seemed impossible.

Limited Financial Knowledge: Lacking access to financial education, Elena and Marco felt powerless to change their circumstances, trapped in a cycle of making minimum payments and watching their debt grow. They were always focused on getting out of the situation in the moment and never holistically looked at their finances. To be fair life wasn’t allowing them to do so either. This why they really needed help to get out of this crisis they were faced with.

The Interest Takeover!

The Rivera family had an average interest rate of 26% across the five creditors and almost 50% of their monthly payments were going towards paying the interest rather than reducing the principal amount of debt. They could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The turning point came when Elena, while attending a community event, heard about American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) from a friend. Elena and Marco decided to reach out to ACCC, a decision that marked the first step toward financial freedom.

ACCC: Charting the Path to Financial Stability

Marco also did his research online and after reading several positive reviews, he turned to ACCC for help. Paul, the credit counselor from ACCC,  worked with the Rivera’s to understand every nook and cranny of their financial situation. Paul took the time create a connection with  Marco and helped him realize that trying to pay this debt off by  himself will take him even down.  The credit counselor took the time to go through every type of income and expense the family had to bare to figure out the best plan going forward to resolve his financial crisis. After a thorough assessment of his financial situation, ACCC enrolled him in their Debt Management Program.

The counselor meticulously reviewed their income, expenses, and debt, painting a clear picture of their financial health and the steps needed to regain control. Here’s some things the expert ACCC credit counselors did with the Rivera’s to help them get out of debt.

ACCC’s Strategy for the Riveras

Budgeting: The counselor helped them create a realistic budget, prioritizing essential expenses and identifying areas where they could cut costs. This step put everything into perspective for the Rivera’s. It was clear as to where they should start the process.

Debt Management Program (DMP): ACCC enrolled the Riveras in a DMP, consolidating their debts into one manageable monthly payment at a reduced interest rate. This helped them focus on a  single payment instead of keeping tabs on five different creditors.  With the DMP they could also lower their interest payments. This was a big relief in the journey to debt relief.

Financial Education: ACCC provided resources on budgeting, saving, and managing debt, empowering Elena and Marco with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

With these steps, ACCC successfully reduced Rivera family’s  average interest rate from a staggering 26% down to a mere 8%. This significant drop translated into a pivotal shift: rather than funneling nearly half of his monthly payments into the bottomless pit they could focus on paying off their principle on their debt.

The Rivera family was originally looking at 16.5 years to fully pay off the debt. With the ACCC debt management program the debt is fully paid off in just 5 years.

The reduction in interest rates resulted in significant financial savings over time, reducing the total cost of the debt and seeing a clear path to debt freedom.

The Journey of Transformation

Adhering to the budget and DMP was challenging, especially with unexpected expenses threatening their progress. However, the Riveras remained committed, motivated by the tangible improvements in their financial situation and the supportive guidance from ACCC.

Achievements and Insights

Reduced Debt: Over time, the DMP significantly reduced their debt load, freeing up income for savings and other needs.

Improved Financial Literacy: Elena and Marco gained confidence in managing their finances, making more informed decisions, and avoiding the pitfalls of high-interest credit.

Community Engagement: The Riveras became advocates for financial education in their community, sharing their journey and encouraging others to seek assistance.

Here’s what The Rivera’s had to say about their debt repayment experience with American Consumer Credit Counseling.

“Looking back, it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come,” Elena shared. “ACCC not only helped us escape the cycle of debt but also gave us the tools to build a better future for our family. The journey was tough, but the peace of mind and financial stability we’ve achieved are priceless.”

A Testament to Resilience and Support

The Rivera family’s story is a powerful testament to the impact of compassionate, expert assistance for families struggling with debt, especially those with limited income. ACCC’s role in their journey underscores the organization’s commitment to providing hope and practical solutions to those who feel overwhelmed by their financial situation.

Elena and Marco’s path from the brink of financial despair to stability and empowerment is a beacon of hope for similar households facing the daunting challenge of debt. Their experience illustrates that with the right support, education, and dedication, overcoming financial hurdles is not just a dream but a reachable goal, regardless of one’s income level.

See if Credit Counseling is Right For You!


When You are Ready to Regain Control of Your Finances:

  1. Contact ACCC and connect with a professionally trained, independently certified counselor who will:

  • Evaluate your financial situation to determine a feasible payment plan – This is where you obtain a comprehensive picture of your financial situation, including your debts, expenses, and income.
  • Assist in creating a budget that meets your needs – Create a suitable budget while paying off your debt. Coming up with a plan together with your counselor to exclude unwanted expenses and work towards debt relief.
  • Help develop a debt management plan, consolidating your debts into a single monthly payment – Consolidate the money you owe so you can make a single payment each month to ACCC. The company makes payments to all your creditors on your behalf. This enables you to stay current with your payments. Also, it reduces the stress of having to make separate payments to your creditors.
  1. The counselor will collaborate with your creditors to:

  • Seek potential reductions in finance charges, late fees, and over-limit charges – Working with your creditors for a possible reduction in your interest rates, late fees, over-limit charges and the time it will take to pay off your loan.
  • Negotiate extended deadlines for existing debt repayments – Working with your creditors to negotiate payment deadlines, so that you align your debt management program with your budget.
Disclaimer: This story unveils an authentic client experience. However, certain details have been modified to safeguard the client’s confidentiality.