Payoff Member Dannette C. shares how she overcame an enormous amount of debt created by medical bills and why her outlook on life is much more positive now.
Our Member Dannette C. recently shared with us the story of how costs from a medical emergency spiraled completely out of control, sending her into massive debt. She applied twice for the Payoff Loan without qualifying, but after diligently working on improving her credit, she applied for a third time with success.
Payoff: How did your medical bills ultimately add up to so much debt?
Dannette: I am a typical working person. I encountered some medical issues, and I had to have a hip rebuild, a second surgery because of infection and then five years later, a total hip replacement with reconstruction. The aftercare costs left me about $98,000 in debt, even with two insurance policies. Most of my friends, and anyone who found out how much I owed, told me to file bankruptcy.
I felt that the doctors were able to fix my medical issues, and it was not the doctor’s fault that this was the cost to repair the damage. I sold my house, paid off what I could and moved into a one-bedroom apartment. I lived there for two years until the final hip replacement was completed in December 2012. Then I was able to move into a two-bedroom apartment for $100 more a month. I was doing well paying on my medical debt until the medical loans went from 4.9% to 32.99%.
Most of my friends, and anyone who found out how much I owed, told me to file bankruptcy.
At that point, I moved the debt onto my credit cards. I had some balance transfers at 0%. Soon, I was not able to pay off the credit card debt, and I had to complete my physical therapy and continue to work. The credit card rates went up to 29% and after a year of paying these crazy interest rates, I realized I had made little to no progress on the debt in a year.
I was doing well paying on my medical debt until the medical loans went from 4.9% to 32.99%.
P: How did you find Payoff and what was your application process like?
D: A friend “liked” Payoff on Facebook, so I decided to check it out. I applied and was disappointed to find out that I did not qualify. I was told to use the Payoff LIFT program and work on paying off my debts, so I could qualify. I was terrified to use all my savings to pay off debt, but I had faith that God brought me to Payoff for a reason.
… I knew I literally would never get ahead.
I followed the Payoff LIFT program and reapplied in three months. I was again denied, and I was so distraught because I was still making no progress on my debt and the interest was now equal to my payments, so I knew I literally would never get ahead. I felt discouraged and told the [Member Advocate] on the phone that maybe I made a mistake in not completing bankruptcy, but he encouraged me to continue to follow Payoff LIFT and apply again in another 30 days.
P: What motivated you to keep working on your credit and apply again?
D: I was uncertain about Payoff when a personal handwritten note came from Brandon, the [Member Advocate] I spoke with. He told me he had faith in me that I could change my credit and get a Payoff Loan soon. With renewed strength, I pushed forward for another 30 days.
I can have a normal life now and know I am making progress …
I applied again in 30 days, and to my amazement, I qualified for a Payoff Loan! I was so excited, and the process was very easy from that point forward. I had the [funds] in about two weeks, and I was able to pay off all the high-interest credit cards. I can have a normal life now and know I am making progress, and in five years or less, all my medical debt will be paid off! If I pay off my loan early, I will have less interest. This is an awesome program to get back on track.
P: What’s your outlook on life now that you’ve been able to pay off all your credit card balances?
D: I volunteer with homeless shelters, and one resident totally [impacted] me. She said it really does not matter how someone became homeless. It could be drugs, or loss of a job, or high bills, or medical issues. The point is that when you are in the middle class you are one tragedy away from homelessness and extra debt. … With the Payoff Loan™, I now have moderate savings and am no longer one tragedy away from losing everything. That kind of peace of mind is priceless! Thank you, Payoff!
And thank you for sharing your story with us, Dannette. We can’t wait to hear more about your adventures yet to come!