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FamilyForward debt-reduction matching program helps break cycle of debt

The FamilyForward debt-reduction matching program allows parents to pay down debt twice as fast, helping to relieve some of the financial burden that too often traps families in an unbreakable cycle of debt.


In July 2023, Harper College Educational Foundation awarded a $10,000 Community Innovation Fund (CIF) Grant to FamilyForward. Our organization was one of six to receive this award from the Palatine, Ill., college. We were thrilled to use the CIF Grant money to fund our new debt-reduction matching program. The program matches funds, dollar for dollar, up to $500 a month, for client families as they make payments toward reducing debt incurred prior to becoming a client of FamilyForward.


Since July, we have matched $11,000 for six different families. We were also extremely grateful to have recently received a significant donation from a local community member, Laura Janus, to enable us to match payments that exceeded our CIF Grant. This program has been very impactful in helping families expedite their journey to becoming debt-free.


Easing burdens, building hope

FamilyForward's debt-reduction matching program eases burdens and builds hope for low-income families.

One of our clients, Mom P, paid off a “quick” loan that was over $1,900, with a 35% annual percentage rate (APR), as well as an auto loan of over $2,500, when she joined FamilyForward last May. Paying off these two loans was a huge milestone for her. She still has other debt, but to have two debts paid off eases some of her financial burden and provides a sense of accomplishment, which can fuel her confidence and goal setting as she moves forward.


“When I entered the program, my main goal was to get out of debt. My biggest burden was high-interest loans and my car payment for a vehicle I had paid for twice because of devastating interest rates. I have reached my goals for getting the high-interest loan and car loan paid off. I am still working on my credit card debt, tax debt, but I am in a good place,” said Mom P.


Breaking the debt cycle

In addition to matching payments on high-interest credit cards, the debt-reduction matching program has also helped participants pay down debt for divorce lawyers, medical bills, IRS bills, and student loans, as several examples.


In each case, the debt-reduction matching program allows the parent to pay down debt twice as fast, helping to relieve some of the financial burden that too often traps families in an unbreakable cycle of debt. To learn more about the FamilyForward debt-reduction matching program, please contact Executive Director Erica Chianelli, at erica.chianelli@family-forward.org or 847-342-0846.

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