Mental Health Awareness Month
Posted 5/9/2024 by Lisa Ohnemus

Mental Health Awareness Month provides an opportunity to focus on the various aspects of well-being, including financial health, which can significantly impact your overall mental wellness. Managing finances effectively can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your quality of life. One strategy for managing finances and addressing debt is to use a debt management program (DMP). Here are some key points to consider about DMPs and how they can support your mental health:

What Is a Debt Management Program (DMP)?

A debt management program is a structured repayment plan designed to help you pay off your unsecured debts (e.g., credit cards and personal loans).  Consumer Credit of Des Moines is a non-profit agency that has been in business since 1987. You will work with a counselor to create a plan to repay your debts.

How a DMP Works:

1.      Credit Counseling: You'll begin by working with a credit counselor who will review your financial situation and

help you understand your options.

2.      Create a Plan: The counselor will work with you to create a budget and a debt repayment plan. This plan may

involve negotiating with your creditors to reduce interest rates and monthly payments.

3.      Consolidate Payments: Instead of making multiple payments to different creditors, you'll make a single

monthly payment to the credit counseling agency. The agency will then distribute the funds to your

creditors according to the agreed-upon plan.

4.      Regular Payments: Consistent, on-time payments can help you reduce your debt over time and

potentially improve your credit score.

5.      Support and Education: Credit counseling agencies often provide ongoing support and financial education to

help you manage your finances effectively.

Benefits of a Debt Management Program:

•      Lower Interest Rates: Negotiations with creditors can lead to reduced interest rates, saving you money over


•      Simplified Payments: Consolidating payments into one monthly payment makes budgeting easier and can help

you stay on track.

•      Debt Reduction: A structured repayment plan can help you pay off debt more efficiently and potentially

improve your credit score.

•      Stress Reduction: Managing your debt more effectively can alleviate financial stress and anxiety.


•      Cost: Some DMPs may have fees associated with them. Be sure to understand the costs before enrolling.

•      Commitment: A DMP usually requires a commitment of three to five years to complete, so be prepared for the

long-term process.

•      Credit Impact: While a DMP can help improve your credit score over time, enrolling in one may temporarily

impact your score. Consider the long-term benefits versus the short-term impact.

Tips for Managing Finances and Mental Health:

•      Communicate: Openly discuss your financial concerns with your partner, family, or friends for support and


•      Stay Informed: Stay educated about your finances and monitor your progress regularly.

•      Practice Self-Care: Maintain a healthy work-life balance and engage in activities that reduce stress and promote


•      Seek Professional Help: If you're struggling with your mental health, consider reaching out to a therapist or

counselor for support.

Incorporating a debt management program into your financial plan can help you regain control of your finances and improve your overall well-being.

Contact us today!