Education in Debt Reduction

Do you feel weighed down by the choices your younger self made? Education, travel, marriage, home, car…you know, life. Everyone’s life turns out a little differently, despite your best intentions, and our next clients are no exception. Looks can be deceiving: even when everything seems okay, that may not be the case.

Dwayne and Sophie* (names changed) got married a bit later in life, and hadn’t finished post-secondary education yet, so were working at relatively good jobs but weren’t making a lot of money. Student loans impacted their budget, having a reliable vehicle impacted their budget, and moving into a new home significantly impacted their budget. Dwayne discovered a passion for engineering and went back to school. He continued part-time classes and full-time work for a few years. They managed for a while, but that started to change as Dwayne drew closer to the end of his degree program.

A Health Crisis

Dwayne hated his day job, but was fighting through for Sophie and their future. He struggled to go to school at night and woke up exhausted everyday. Slowly his desire to get up and going to work waned, until he stopped. He couldn’t get going in the morning, didn’t want to go to work, felt wrong and couldn’t figure out why. The day they took Dwayne to the hospital everything changed. Dwayne had diabetes, and he realized his lifestyle contributed to his decreased health. He took steps to change; the diagnosis shook him awake and he felt renewed vigour and interest in his classes, and realized even more he couldn’t continue to do his day job. He made it another year and a half, when an unexpected opportunity presented itself.

Education Takes a Break

There was an offer for Dwayne to work out of town, working in a trade with a friend. The circumstances seemed right for Dwayne to take the opportunity: he was miserable at work, school was draining and he needed a break. Sophie told him to take it. Dwayne resigned his old position, and left town for his first 2-week stint. This was late in 2014. Sophie missed him, but had full-time work and their home to keep her busy. She bussed to work, as Dwayne had taken their truck. By the time Dwayne came home for Christmas, Sophie had realized living in the city meant needing a vehicle to get around. If he was out in the field, how could she get groceries, visit friends, do errands, efficiently on the bus? She couldn’t, Dwayne agreed, and they bought another car.

An Economic Downturn in Alberta

In January 2015, Dwayne went to work for his next shift out of town. 3 days later the camp was closed and Dwayne was home. Dwayne and Sophie were devastated and frantic. Keep the car, or return the car? Could they afford the house? What would Dwayne do for work? Dwayne would get EI for a time, that would help. They made some other choices based on their situation: they kept the second car, got a roommate, and Dwayne went to work part-time at a gas station. It was January and he couldn’t go back to school until the fall, so he worked part-time and kept looking for full-time work. In April he found a complimentary position, one that utilized his education, so now he worked part-time at two jobs, and slowly things got easier.

Endings and Beginnings

Dwayne finished his education and began working for the firm full-time. He loves the work, and Sophie received a promotion at work. It felt like things were turning around when they realized more money left than came in every month. 4 Pillars seemed the place to go, they had good testimonials and it was just a consultation, what could it hurt? That first meeting changed everything for Dwayne and Sophie. They met with the staff at 4 Pillars, and together with the team they reviewed their information, and agreed 4 Pillars could help them, if they were willing to put in the work.

Dwayne and Sophie are saving over $1500 per month in interest payments, at a savings of $90,000 over the length of their consumer proposal. Monthly payments of $750 are sustainable and built into the budget tool 4 Pillars shared with them. Dwayne and Sophie are looking forward to the next phase of their lives, travel, home renovations and starting a family among their goals for the near future.

“When we first spoke to Pradeep, he was professional and informative. He saw right away that he could help us, and gave us the tools to have our consumer proposal approved. We are definitely in a better place thanks to Pradeep and the team at 4 Pillars! We recommend 4 Pillars to anyone who is having trouble making ends meet – the relief is life changing, definitely don’t be afraid to take that first step with Pradeep and 4 Pillars.”

Whatever circumstances brought you to where you are today, Pradeep’s team at 4 Pillars are here to help. Take a few minutes to visit the 4 Pillars Consulting Group website and book your first appointment. All you have to look forward to is your future. 4 Pillars can help.


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