My Debt Story: How I Paid off $130,000 in Debt 60

My Debt Story: How I Paid off $130,000 in Debt

This is a guest post by Risha Ellison, a freelance finance blogger specializing in the bad credit and debt industry.

A teacher by day, a mother of three all day, the last five years had been a financial nightmare for me.

With cash tied up in auto expenses and home renovations, I found myself facing a debt of $130,000, something that would take years to pay on a teacher’s salary.

Self-help books didn’t help and conflicting advice from family and friends only fuelled the desperation of my situation. Having borrowed so much, and unable to make payments, my credit score started dwindling.

I could no longer qualify for any additional funds that required a credit check. In fact, turning to payday loans out of hopelessness only plunged me further into debt and I found myself in the middle of a never-ending cycle.

All this changed when I consulted with a representative from Affirm Financial, a company that believes in second chances. The firm not only offered financial aid, but provided information to best be financially responsible that involved simple things I could do every day to pave my way to financial independence.

The first thing I did was consolidate all of my debt into a single loan with one payment at a lower interest rate.

This allowed me to save some money every month, despite the debt. My saving grace was our family home. Although this is not an option for many Canadians suffering from debt, for those who have a home, consider consolidating all of your debts into your mortgage if you have enough equity.

Next came lifestyle changes.

Gone were the days when I lunched out every day. I shopped the sales, stockpiled food, limited grocery runs and cooked and froze meals everyday.

I also sold my car, biked to work and encouraged my kids to walk everywhere. I even embarked on a business venture, by renting out my basement.

Though I had to borrow a few hundred dollars from Affirm to make the space habitable, the loan process was a hassle-free one and I was able to pay everything off within three months when my tenant moved in.

Now with a few bucks under my belt, I applied for the Affirm MasterCard.

I was careful to keep my spending to a minimal and reserved for essential things only, following the advice of my credit counsellor.

With a credit limit of $3,000 and a reduced interest rate for homeowners, the relief of having access to emergency funds felt as though half of my worries had been alleviated. Slowly, I began rebuilding my credit with on-time payments.

After a year, I started investing to mitigate some of my costliest expenses, like reducing energy costs at home. An article by Affirm Financial recommended proper insulation, low energy appliances and using hydro wisely.

The stat is that half of every dollar seen on your energy bill comes from keeping your home warm or cool, which is why proper insulation helped me cut costs by ten per cent.

Unplugging everything that wasn’t being used was something I did too. As my savings rose, I was even able to invest in a few appliances sporting the Energy Star logo. The Affirm blog also provides valuable information for anyone looking to save a few bucks, whether it’s to decorate on a budget or apps for grocery savings.

It took time, but I am now very close to paying off my debt.

Debt is a scary thing and it can seem everlasting, but there are remedies. While a single strategy may not produce any tangible results, a combination of techniques, some help from trusted financial institutions and support from family and friends are key to reaching a debt-free life.

See also:

How I Paid Off $25,000 in Student Loans
7 Things You’re Doing That Will Never Make You Rich
How to Pay Off Debt Fast Using The Stack Method

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Data Is Important to Your Business’s Operations: Keep It as Safe as It Is Accessible 4

The Secret to Designing Perfect Landing Pages

Computers have been able to move files between one another since the technology’s very early days. The first File Transfer Protocol (FTP) technology emerged in 1971. Back then, network administrators only needed to move data from one place to the next; security was not an issue. Furthermore, since the computers were probably in the same room, the data did not have very far to go.

Today, there are many ways to move data efficiently and safely over long distances. MOVEit by ipswitch is a good example. It’s very robust yet also very easy to use. It also has a number of audit trail and compliance features that really make it a useful program.

How do you know for sure whether Moveit or some other program is the right one for your business?

What is Secure File Transfer?

FTP still works very well when there is absolutely no need for security, but these instances are few and far between. Some of today’s most popular file transfer options are:

  • Secure File Transfer Protocol: As the name implies, SFTP is FTP plus encryption. The combination is very fast and prevents network eavesdropping. SCP (Secure Copy) is a closely related protocol.
  • Managed File Transfer: MFT is a much more complex option. In addition to file security, it adds a variety of audit, management, reliability, and other features.
  • Email Encryption: Instead of transferring the file as an attachment, a secure email sends a link. Then, the recipient can download the document from a secure site. Moreover, email encryption enables users to send very large files with little drama.
  • Hosting: Originally, file hosting services supported document collaboration and nothing else. Lately, security features have emerged as well, making network hosting a viable secure file transfer option.

All these methods rely on access control. Typically, that involves a username and password. Depending on the organization’s needs, the access control can be much tighter. Usually, this process involves an Identity and Access Management (IAM) system.

Some File Transfer Features

In its most basic form, secure file transfer relies on command line interfaces. This system is automated and not designed for user interface, so there are very few additional features. On the other hand, command line interfaces are very low-cost and allow organizations to maintain control over file security even if they use cloud providers.

SFTP is still the best option for most businesses, but SFTP by itself often falls short. Consider adding additional features like:

  • Auditing: Sometimes, auditing functions are available as an add-on. But organizations that also have compliance issues in this area, such as those that handle Personal Identifying Information (PII), may be better off with MFT.
  • Scheduling: This need is not as common but it’s still out there. Sometimes, users need to send documents at certain times of the day, usually to avoid bandwidth conflicts. Customers with scheduling needs almost always need MFT, because its systems are very robust.
  • Indirect Transfer: Only MFT allows users to send documents to an intermediary server when then forwards them to the recipients. The user and recipient are isolated from each other, and such transfers are easier to track.

Consider the options carefully before making a decision. Then, go with an established provider who stands by its products.