Valley Works: Managing Debt


It is the simple things that Phill Rhoads and his wife Janet have come to appreciate even more. After three long hard years the couple is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In 2010 Phill and Janet both were laid off from their jobs, he worked in advertising, she in marketing. The road back to full-time employment with good paying jobs has been a difficult journey.

"It tries your patients, it tries your faith, it tries your confidence, and it's been the toughest three years we've ever gone through in our marriage," Phill Rhoad said.

The Rhoads got through those three years by working temporary jobs, tapping into their savings and received a lot of help from family and friends. But now they are ready to re-build their finical health.

"It's so much we need to repay because we are so incredibly grateful for a lot of the stuff that's been going on to help us out," Phill said.

"Getting out of debt putting away savings, starting over," Janet Rhoad said.

Cara Pierce, with ClearPoint Credit Counseling says it is good to have a plan when coming back from a financial crisis like unemployment. Pierce says if you still have your home and are behind on your payments keep your home. California has a program to help you catch up on your mortgage.

"It's not changing their payments it's not modifying their payments all it's doing is helping them pay the past due," Pierce said. "So going forward they can pick up and start making their payments."

When it comes to paying off your debt, you can prioritize by look at the bills that are charging you the most in late fees, and credit cards with the highest interest rates.

"We can offer them a debt repayment plan where they can get back on track with their unsecured debt," Pierce said.

The Rhoads know it is going to take time for them to catch up and re-build, but for now they are concentrating on the basics.

"The most important thing is our health our well-being," Phill said.

It is difficult for many people to talk about their financial problems but Phill and Janet said they wanted to share their story to help others who may be going through a similar crisis.

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