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In July of 2009, after being laid off from a job of nine years with a Fortune 500 company, Tonoa went into hiding from her daughter’s father who had threatened to kill her and hurt their daughter. She quietly moved to Houston where she felt safe with family and working for a local school district. She was paying her bills and beginning to feel comfortable again when she was served with joint custody papers at work.
“The money was not coming in at the rate I needed,” Tonoa said. “Before long I was unable to pay my credit card bills. For three years I struggled. I struggled to feel safe. I struggled to feel sane. I struggled to pay bills. I stopped working on my PhD with only three classes and a dissertation to go. I failed to make payment arrangements on defaulted credit cards. I failed to turn in deferment papers for my student loans. I feared going to networking events because it seemed that any man at any event could at any moment try to hurt me. I lived in a bubble of irrational fear, and my life crumbled more and more every day.”
In December of 2017, Tonoa found a job with an income that allowed her to get her credit back under control.
“I finally decided that I needed to stop looking over my shoulder and look forward, which makes me a victor, not a victim,” she said.
When we met her, Tonoa was riding to work with her sister. She was forced to turn down many opportunities because she wasn’t independently mobile. She said getting her 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE through On the Road Lending helped her feel like she was “conquering a beast that had held me down for a long time.”
“Moving forward with this car means moving forward in life,” she said. “I feel powerful again!”