How a woman survived financially despite health issues

Budget and debt |

Taking time off work due to sickness doesn't have to set you back.

"Ashley" * is in her late 20’s and had an appointment with LSS Financial Counseling because she was concerned about her finances. She had been off work for two months over the past year because of her health. Even when Ashley was able to work, she had been working limited hours. She was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

Because of the diagnosis and starting a treatment plan, Ashley is confident that she will be able to return to full-time work in 30 days. Ashley knows that things would improve financially when she returns to work full-time, but she was concerned because she had gotten behind on several of her monthly bills, including credit cards and student loan payments.

Working with a LSS Financial Counselor, a plan was created to help Ashley manage things for the next 30 days and for when she is working full-time again. The counselor emphasized the importance of staying current on priority expenses such as rent, utilities and insurance. They also reviewed Ashley’s credit report to see the impact of the late payments.

During the appointment, they contacted Ashley’s student loan companies by phone and requested a temporary forbearance. This gave Ashley a little reprieve from having to make payments until her full-time income started. They also reviewed income-sensitive repayment options for her federal student loans.

After reviewing Ashley’s budget, it became apparent that once her income returned to normal levels, she will be able to make more than the minimum payments on her credit cards. The financial counselor gave Ashley tools – including a specific power payment method for getting her credit card balances within 2 years on her own.

The financial counselor and Ashley also discussed a Debt Management Plan through LSS as a potential solution for paying off the credit card debt. The two decided that this would be an option that Ashley would explore if the self-pay power payment method was not working or if her income is reduced again.

Ashley plans to check back in with her financial counselor after she returns to work.

*Her name has been changed to protect her confidentiality.

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Everence Staff

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