Nonprofit MMI Offers Help to Consumers Drowning in Holiday Debt
STAFFORD, Texas, Jan. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Money Management International (MMI) wants consumers to know it can be a healthy, happy and debt-free new year. The nonprofit is poised to help tens of thousands of consumers pay off credit card debt in 2023.
In 2022, MMI helped over 46,000 households repay nearly $200MM in debt.
Holiday spending rose almost 8% compared to the same time period in 2021, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse.
“An increase in holiday spending coupled with high inflation and increased interest rates will only mean one thing in 2023 – consumers will be drowning in debt,” said Thomas Nitzsche, Sr. Director of Media & Brand at MMI. “The holidays are over. Now it’s time to survey the damage. Don’t panic, come up with a plan to be debt-free in 2023. MMI is here to help with the first step. Debt and budget counseling is free from MMI and can help you get you started.”
According to NerdWallet, almost three-quarters of 2022 holiday shoppers planned to use credit cards to pay for holiday gifts, charging an average of $663.
“If you’re already in debt, holiday spending only adds to the problem,” said MMI client Marlon Ibarra of Los Angeles, CA, who paid off almost $100,000 in debt. “We feel embarrassed if we can’t buy expensive presents for loved ones. I’ve learned that this is the season of giving, not giving the most expensive.”
“The idea of debt can feel a little overwhelming at times, sometimes to the point where we’d really rather not even open up those credit card statements,” said Nitzsche. “Debt is always just a number, and even if it’s a big number, once you see where you stand, you’ll have a much easier time formulating a realistic plan.”
To start, MMI suggests taking stock. It can help to consolidate all that information into a spreadsheet or through a money management app. The important point is simply getting the full picture.
Some things to pay attention to:
- Total debt
- Interest rates
- Due dates
- Are any accounts past due?
- Are there any promotional rates or benefits to keep in mind (0% APRs that may be expiring soon, etc.)?
- Are all these figures accurate? ( Errors do happen, after all.)
FIND YOUR WIGGLE ROOM
Simply paying the minimum on these new debts isn’t going to get the job done, consumers need a little extra cash each month to really make some progress. This means cutting back or cutting off regular expenses temporarily until holiday overspending is paid. The word “temporarily” is key here. A few cutbacks or a series of smaller ones can give consumers the boost needed to make short work of that new debt.
DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE
The trick with debt is this: consumers should never let it control their lives, but they should never get so comfortable they forget it’s there. The holidays will be back and there’s a very good chance consumers will overspend again. If they haven’t made it a priority to repay current debts, it’s only going to get more difficult.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
MMI helps tens of thousands of consumers dig out of debt every year. Consumers need to know they’re far from alone when faced with high credit card debt.
“I was nervous about seeking help,” said Ibarra who not only paid off that $100,000 debt but also increased his credit score by 200 points with the help of MMI. “I didn’t want to admit that I could not do it on my own. Once I got past that mental hurdle, I realized that this was the best program for me, and I want others to know that it really does work.”
MMI helps consumers by working with creditors to lower and fix interest rates on their credit cards and get them on a repayment plan to pay down their debts. Many of our clients find relief with a debt management plan, which can save them thousands of dollars and accelerate their repayment.
Consumers need to know it’s possible to be debt-free in 2023!
Money Management International (MMI) is changing how America overcomes financial challenges. MMI helps create, restore, and maintain a life of financial wellness through empowered choices. For over 60 years, our clients have achieved financial confidence through nonprofit programs that educate, motivate, and liberate. MMI inspires action by delivering expert professional guidance and timely solutions aligned with our client’s goals. Experiencing a financial challenge? Find your solution 24/7 at 866.864.8995 andMoneyManagement.org.
For reporters looking to interview real people for stories, MMI has created a group of nearly 200 clients from across the country who are willing to share their experiences with the media, in the hopes of helping others challenged with debt. Our peer advocates have paid off over $9 million of debt and now serve as MMI ambassadors. Hear from them on MMI’s podcast,Long Story $hort.
To schedule an interview with MMI experts or clients in your market, please contact:
Thomas Nitzsche, 404.490.2227, Thomas.Nitzsche@MoneyManagement.org
Lori Geary, 404.551.2151, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Nitzsche Money Management International 404.490.2227 Thomas.Nitzsche@MoneyManagement.org Lori Geary Lexicon Strategies 404.551.2151 email@example.com