How Toni took back control of her debt

August 31, 2021

Toni, a sole parent with three children, one of whom requires full time support, was living week to week.

Toni works from home as an in-home educator. When Covid-19 hit last year, Toni’s income was negatively impacted.

Toni tried to pick up extra work, but with one of her children needing full-time support, she was restricted with what she could do.

Toni eventually fell behind with credit card payments.

She was overspending by $40 each week and even though she was making regular payments on her credit cards, she was struggling to make a dent.

Wanting to be a good role model for her children, she searched for financial support and found DEBTsolve.

Our free DEBTsolve programme combines debt coaching, advocacy and debt solution loans of up to $10,000 to help with unmanageable debt. 

Teaming up with Sandra

When Toni joined DEBTsolve, she was teamed up with our Financial Wellbeing Coach, Sandra, to take back control.

Because Toni’s caring responsibilities require her to be home, Sandra has been supporting Toni over the phone.

The pair worked together to get a payment holiday on Toni’s credit card so she could get back on top of the repayments on her store finance card to reduce the high interest that was accruing.

Financial Wellbeing Coach, Sandra, shared:

“Together we created a debt repayment plan. This included working with IRD to get the right tax repayments needed for her business and student loan. We were approved for a payment holiday for her credit card.


“The payment holiday resulted in Toni being able to pay off her buy now pay later accounts and reduce the balance of her higher interest debt on her store card.” 

Toni followed her repayment plan and reached her first goal that she’d set for herself – to save enough money so she didn’t need to use her credit card or use a part payment option to buy Christmas presents.

This was exciting for Toni, because it was the first time in her life she hadn’t used credit for Christmas presents.

It motivated her to work harder so she could apply for a debt solution loan.

Becoming financially confident

With help from Sandra, Toni got the debt solution loan which saved her hundreds of dollars.

Feeling inspired and motivated from regaining control of her finances, Toni has been building her financial knowledge.

She’s learnt how to bank online, set financial goals and for the first time in her life Toni has enough money to afford all her expenses including her “sanity coffee”.

Toni now has a savings account and can afford flights to visit her family in Auckland.

Toni and Sandra remain in contact whilst Toni continues to build her financial skills.

Sandra said:

“Toni still gets in touch when she has a question about money. It’s nice to hear she is doing well and be able to support her on her journey from start to finish.”

Toni’s next goal is to have her work and personal expenses in separate bank accounts and to pay off her debts, including her student loan.

Please note: the name and any identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the person involved

Related resources