The Widlunds' Financial Struggles
Step One: Calculate debt and get your credit score
Glinda helps the couple look up Mark's credit score, a three-digit number that lenders use to determine credit risk. Marnie and Mark are disappointed to find out that Mark's score is 540. The median score is 700. "That means there's a lot of work for us to do," Glinda says.
Glinda also tallies up all the Widlunds' debt. With a second mortgage, Victoria's car payment and other loans, the Widlunds' total debt, including their home, is $210,000.
Step Two: Track your spending and find extra money to pay down debt
Glinda has identified four key areas where the Widlunds are wasting their money.
Late fees: $1,800 per year
Direct deposit advances: $1,440 per year
Transferring money toward Victoria's account: $2,640 per year
Food: $1,308 per month
If the Widlunds cut eating out by 25 percent and reduce other unnecessary spending, Glinda says they'll easily save more than $13,000 a year.