CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It took a divorce for Kay Paterson, 60, to learn how to manage her finances.
"He (ex-husband) paid all the bills," said Kay. "I monitored them but he paid all the bills."
After 26 years of marriage, Kim split from her husband. She was short on money but had plenty of plastic in her wallet.
"The money started to dwindle and the credit cards looked very attractive."
Before she knew it Kay was falling behind on payments.
"And the bill collectors were like swarming on me," Kay recalled.
Without a safety net to fall back on Kay turned to a credit counseling firm to help her dissolve her debt.
"A lot of times customers come in that are struggling financially," said Wanda Strickfaden with Improve Credit Solutions. "They need someone to basically sit down with them to understand how to create a budget."
Improve Credit says most women are uninvolved when managing their money.
"Once we figure out what their budget is we figure out what their positive cash flow is," said Strickfaden.
"And then we can go ahead and move forward with actually arranging payment arrangements with their creditors or their collectors."
After several months on strict budget, paying down debts, and not acquiring any new loans, today Kay is financially stable.
She recently bought her dream home and is ready to retire.
Kay admits she would have never learned these skills if she hadn't been forced to.