34-year-old pays off $300,000 in debt in 3 years with 5-step program
For those facing a mountain of debt, the burden can be daunting, embarrassing, and impossible to manage.
And while many across the country have debt from student loans, credit cards, or other sources, the situation can feel overwhelming, especially when faced with it on your own.
This is how Bernadette Joy felt in 2016 when she ran into $ 300,000 in debt.
MORE: The Debt S-L-A-Y-E-R Method helped her get rid of $ 30,000 in credit card debt in a year
The 34-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, had just married, completed her MBA, and began her career when the cost of her student loan, two mortgages, and sky-high credit card bills weighed on her finances.
"We went from zero to $ 300,000 in debt in a very short time," Joy told Good Morning America. I was so ashamed and felt so guilty. I grew up in a family of financial professionals. I should have known better. "
When she and her husband AJ tried to get a grip on all the debt, they said they felt alone.
MORE: A zero-based budget helped this woman repay student loan debt worth $ 215,000 in 4 years
"We kept it a secret and didn't tell anyone, and that made it really challenging," she said. "I ended up crying in my office."
While it seemed daunting to the couple at first, they eventually began to throw themselves on this heap of debt. In their first year, they paid out $ 72,000.
During the process, Joy stuck to a five-step program called "CRUSH" to help meet her monetary goals. The CRUSH Method, which is similar to the Dave Ramsey Method, balances financial goals with the flexibility to enjoy life.
This is how CRUSH works:
C - Create a new money mindset
R - reverse engineering your life goals
U - Use the tools available to you
S - Spend without apology on what you love
H - hectic, hectic, hectic
Joy stuck to the CRUSH method for three years and was able to pay off all of her debts through several sideline jobs in 2019, including a clothes rental company and lessons at SkillPop.
Now she's helping others get their debts under control and making sure everyone gets a happy financial ending. With #DebtCrushers, a membership program designed for millennial working women who grapple with the shame and fear of student loan and credit card debt, Joy helps women "smash debt to live better and do better". So far, among its members, it has helped pay off a total of $ 500,000 in debt.
Her program has also helped let go of the shame and fear associated with debt.
"The more we talked to people about it, the more we removed the stigma of debt settlement," said Joy. "And I wanted to provide this community."
MORE: This couple went from RV to homeowners after paying off $ 130,000 in debt together
Joy continues to instill this sense of community during the pandemic that saw a national trend towards debt settlement.
"Now is a crucial time to pay off debts," she said. "The question remains during the pandemic, 'Should you pay off debts or save?' The answer is always to work on eliminating debt as long as you have income stability. "
Here are more tips from Joy on dealing with debt
Be in your best frame of mind when considering your finances
A clear, calm state of mind will help you make the best decisions for your family.
Consolidate your finances
When you have 10 accounts to take care of - even if you can't make progress in cashing them out - reducing them to seven or eight will reduce the stress of worrying about multiple accounts and allow you to really get on with yourself focus .
The 34-year-old is paying off $ 300,000 in debt in 3 years using a 5-step program originally published on goodmorningamerica.com
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