Wow! What wonderful — but also disturbing — responses we got from our story on Roz Lee. She’s the woman, wife and mother who lost her $70,000 a year job and is on the verge of getting kicked out of her apartment. People wrote to Roz sending their prayers, practical advice and empathy. But what’s disturbing is how many people are in the same terrible situation — unemployed, bankruptcy, buried in debt that they can’t crawl out of. Roz Lee, you are not alone.
Here‘s a summary of the advice that people offered (and a little bit of my own):
- Keep in CLOSE touch with your creditors. Putting your head in the sand is the worst thing you can do.
- Whenever possible avoid using those d%$# credit cards. The interest rates and fees can be killers.
- Find help if you sense trouble and don’t wait for the last minute. Some places go to: Consumer Credit Counseling atcccservices.com or 800-355-2227. It’s a reliable, long-standing organization that helps people with debt.
- There is also a new office opening in Riverside to help people manage debt and keep their homes. Check out: SHINE which stands for “Sustaining Home Ownership in the Inland Empire.” They are having a grand opening at 1605 Spruce Street in Riverside on Wed. Oct. 8th at 11am. The public is invited. You can also call them at 1-800-947-3752 or go to www.credit.org
- Finally, take a financial literacy course. Lean about savings, credit cards, budgeting, retirement, mortgages and more. Look up “financial literacy classes ” on the web. They are often offered by community groups or churches.
Let’s hope that when all is said and done there are some serious controls on the predators and big wigs that prey on our ignorance. But in the meantime, let’s get ourselves better educated and financially disciplined.RELATED RESOURCES:
SHINE "Sustaining Home Ownership in the Inland Empire"
Grand opening on Wed. Oct. 8th, 11am
1605 Spruce Street
Riverside, CA 92507
Non-profit consumer counseling