Leaders Reclaiming Biblical Stewardship

The Stories Behind The Numbers

20 Years of Changing Family Trees

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by Stewardship Central | Stewardship Ministry | Comments

This month, we’re talking a lot about 20 years and more than 2 million families—big numbers that represent big success for Financial Peace University (FPU). But we don’t want to miss the faces behind those numbers. After all, it’s a changed family tree we celebrate and a changed nation we hope for!

In an effort to remind you of all the good you’re doing, we’d like to feature a few of our FPU graduates. You’ll find excerpts of their stories below, and you can visit the My FPU Story page to read about their journeys—and the journeys of thousands of others—in full.

Dan and Sherri took FPU 15 years ago and soon paid off $25,000 in debt. But they built a home on the lake and took out mortgages on multiple rental properties. In 2008, everything came crashing down. They owed nearly $800,000 in real estate and simply couldn’t keep up despite both of them working two jobs. They knew it was time to get gazelle intense—again.

“The skills we learned from Dave 15 years earlier allowed us to eat this elephant ‘one bite at a time.’ We worked diligently the next three years.

By God's grace, we were able to sell two properties and pay off four of six loans, including our primary residence! The other two went to short sale, and we received a bill from the IRS. That was the last bite of this enormous elephant.

Because of additional work we received, we were able to write the IRS a check for $60,000 by April 15! We spent 2013 rebuilding our emergency fund and starting our 401(K)—so far we are up $50,000.

We now get to pay it forward by facilitating FPU. And thanks to God and Dave Ramsey, we are debt-free!"

The Merollas started FPU with 27 open lines of credit (including 14 cards with balances), a car loan and student loans. They admit living with a poor person mindset, constantly fighting about money and resigned to the fact that they’d never make any progress on their debt. But thanks to FPU, everything changed.

“Through the grace of God and the teachings of FPU, in 2013 alone we were able to pay off and close every single credit card, pay off the car, and pay off one student loan.

We have a long road ahead of us—we owe as much in student loans as we do on the house. It might take us a while to accomplish, but we have no doubt that we will be completely debt-free, hopefully in the next 10 years!

We are now volunteering at this year's FPU class at our church in Ohio, and we’re having a great time sharing our story and witnessing to others on this journey. “

The Holcombs brought good incomes and bad debt into their marriage. As their salaries increased, they upped the debt, buying a $40,000 van and a $150,000 house. Soon after the purchase, though, he lost his job. The steady decline of the next three years came to a head when she had her worst year in real estate and their kids were complaining of hunger.

“Around the same time, our church offered FPU and we said ‘Why not?

Every real-estate closing I had we paid something off—within months we were debt-free!

We now cringe at the thought of financing something. We’re working toward paying cash for newer cars and saving money. We still do not have the budget fine-tuned, but it's a work in progress.

My advice to every young person I know and every person who is struggling financially is to take this class before you do anything else! Thanks to Dave and First Baptist Church of Hazard, KY, we are finally on the right path!”

This represents just three of the millions of stories that can now be told because of you. Thank you partnering with us on this 20-year journey. We are so excited to see what happens in the years to come!

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