I've always been pretty good with money. I owned a home, [and I wanted] to buy a new house for my son in an area where I wanted him to go to school. I was planning to get everything in order so I could do that. I just knew that what I had in front of me was going to be hard to manage because I was getting divorced.
I had my son, I graduated with my doctorate, and I separated from my husband leading to divorce. All at the same time. I was proactive [during the divorce] and I didn't let things get to [a desperate] point. I could pay my mortgage, I could pay my car payment. I didn't want those things to be in jeopardy because I needed somewhere to live and I needed to be able to drive for my job.
My quality of life has always been really important to me. At that point, I felt like it was in jeopardy so I was afraid. I was like: wait a minute, you have to take care of yourself, you have to figure this out. Do what you need to do now so you can set yourself up for success later. I contacted Beyond Finance before I couldn't [pay] my bills. I could continue to make the minimum payments, but I wasn't getting anywhere.
I looked up different companies, and I spoke to maybe three...honestly it was [Beyond’s] customer service [that did it]. I felt like my situation was unique, and I thought that Beyond Finance understood that best. When having the conversation [with other companies], I felt reprimanded a little, or they would say things like: “Because of the bad decisions you've made in the past....” [But] I hadn't made any bad decisions.
When I was on the phone getting information from other companies, they approached [my case] like: “well you got yourself in from situation, so you need to make sure you do what we say so we can get you out of this situation.” And I didn't feel like they understood how I was approaching this[,] how I got to where I was, or how I decided that I wanted their assistance. It was in how they treated me. They didn't appear to be understanding or considerate of my current state, my situation.
I'm happy with the process. And even sometimes when a representative has to follow up and call me back, they always do that. If I get upset and animated on the phone, they never return that. And no matter who I get on the phone, they know my business...whatever notes they put in their computer system, no matter who I spoke to on the phone, I felt like I was getting personalized service. So I really liked that.
I would say [Beyond Finance’s] strength would be their customer service: how well-trained their employees are, whatever they do on their end for record-keeping or client files...it's very clear that anyone who picks up is able to talk to me about [my situation] with validity.
I feel like they're credible. I feel like I can trust what they're saying. There hasn't ever been a case where someone told me something and I had a second conversation and I got a different answer, like I do a lot with my telecom services, like my cellphone service or my cable service. That doesn't happen with them.
I think that their plan for attacking my debt was good, because it got a lot of things settled in a short amount of time.‡ Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.