Taking control of finances

An unexpected large expense, a change in employment, a long-term pandemic - all are realities of how tight of a line our neighbors, families, or friends can be in their financial situation. Lutheran Social Service's Center for Financial Resources helps consumers find solutions to their financial concerns through financial counseling services and debt management programs.

One client came to the Center for Financial Resources newly out of treatment, ready to get back on track. He did not have a grasp on his current financial situation. Entering into the first payment, he was behind on mortgage and utility payments, facing wage garnishment, and had unclear information on past debts. The very first appointment was productive, working through resources for his basic needs, food, utilities, and mortgage. Over several meetings, together with his counselor, he was able to obtain information of past debts, bring his mortgage and utilities current, and stop wage garnishment. A true success story!

And then the COVID pandemic started.

When his hours were reduced at work and he began to fall behind on the mortgage and utilities, he called LSS again for guidance. His counselor met with him and was able to guide him through the various COVID assistance resources and helped connect him with each. He accessed assistance with his mortgage and utilities. His counselor helped him apply for a mortgage forbearance, walked him through the implications of forbearance, and helped him understand his mortgage options for when the forbearance ends. The client has now addressed his debt, brought his bills current, and is in a more stable financial position.

Because of his initial positive experience with LSS, when the unexpected came up he felt confident in reaching out for help. Because he reached out early, he was able to limit the financial impact of the pandemic. Without his debt and with a better understanding of his mortgage options and his overall financial situation, he now feels confident in his ability to take control of finances into the future.

Your support of Sioux Empire United Way helped to provide Center for Financial Resources to 2,891 people last year. Of those clients, 98 successfully completed a debt management plan.