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Money Matters

She was devastated but not defeated

/ 05:14 AM March 06, 2019

Allow me to break from the usual question and answer format to relate this very encouraging story.

One year ago, Shirley (not her real name) applied with PFA’s (Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corporation) EnRich™ GOOD (Getting Out of Debt) as a client. Shirley had around P585,000 in past due credit card and personal loans, all borrowed on behalf of her then live-in partner who used the money for business ventures that would eventually fail.

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Life was not going to be easy for Shirley as her partner did not honor the obligations. Moreover, the partner left her, leaving her all alone to support herself and their special child on top of negotiating with creditors to settle the loan obligations. The family of her former partner also offered no assistance. Since Shirley did not come from a well-to-do family, her own family could also not help.

Such challenges caused her to become sickly. At one time, she had to go to a hospital’s emergency room to have her severe acid reflux problem treated. The doctor said that her medical condition was likely caused by stress. At worse, it could lead to difficulty in breathing.

But as proof that the good Lord does not abandon His children, He directed a friend of Shirley to contact her about an episode the friend watched on ANC “On the Money” where the EnRich™ GOOD program was presented.

At the first meeting with Shirley, PFA told her that the best total solution was to have Shirley’s outstanding loan obligations be taken out through a refinancing loan with PFA’s partner lender under the EnRich™ GOOD program (note: PFA does not earn from the refinancing loan). However, to make the plan affordable for Shirley, she would need to ask for an 80-percent discount from all her creditors and amortize the refinancing loan over two years with the partner lender.

Despite the challenges, and many days of crying and feeling pity for herself, Shirley finally gathered enough courage through prayer to take action.

Shirley worked for a bank and was already due for promotion as assistant manager. But she knew that once the recommendation for promotion was reviewed, her poor credit rating would crop up. She decided to move to another job first and manage her debts from there. But she vowed to go back to the banking industry once her debts had been settled and her credit score had improved.

She then started talking with her creditors to the point of begging just to get the 80-percent discount. And much to her surprise, a number of these creditors readily granted her request. As a result, Shirley managed to whittle down her loan obligations by P200,000 by paying just P40,000, which she was able to scrounge around from her meager savings and a bonus pay.

She also saved P50 a day so that she would not spend any part of her pay for the Christmas holidays. Lo and behold, she was able to save P11,000 for the 2018 Christmas season.

She met up with PFA recently to discuss her next moves, fired up by her recent successes. PFA told her to talk again to her remaining creditors: 1) to relate how she was able to settle P200,000 of her P585,000-debt to show her determination to honor her obligations; and 2) ask for a slightly lower but still steep discount (i.e. 75 percent) given that she has more free cash to amortize a refinancing loan for taking out her remaining debts.

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Prayer, action and the help of others are the ingredients to getting out of debt. Spread the word to those who are still suffering from crushing debt; that is, in the height of pessimism, there is hope.

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TAGS: business ventures, EnRich™ GOOD (Getting Out of Debt), Money Matters, personal loans, PFA’s (Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corporation)
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