I tried to budget as best as possible. It was almost as if every time I think I'd have a budget set, something else would pop up. So that would throw my budget all out of whack, or I'd need to replace something or something along those lines.
[I had] some high interest, high balance loans…[I’d go to the lenders] and ask for $500 here, $500 there. They would give it to me, but it would raise the balance on the existing loan that I had with them. It was kind of a revolving thing. I'd pay it down, I'd go back for more, I'd pay it down, go back for more.
It was like no matter what I did, no matter what I tried to do –whether it was trying to refinance the loans, to maybe get a lower payment, to maybe help out with this bill or that bill– they wouldn't go for it. It was like I was running into a brick wall. Constantly just running into that brick wall. No matter what I did, no matter what I tried, no matter what I thought was the right thing to do, it just wasn't, and it wasn't working out to my benefit.
The only thing I could do at that point in time was make those minimum payments to those loans. Well, it was taking forever to pay those off, and it was still reflecting as a high balance on my credit, which was maxing out....I had considered bankruptcy, but if I would have done bankruptcy, it would have affected my credit. Which in turn, would affect [my job, for which I have] to hold a secret clearance.
It was like: enough is enough. In order to get this under control, I need to find some type of financial stability with it. Maybe cut down on the balance, and that's when I found Beyond Finance.
[The Beyond Finance guy I talked to] sat me down for [about] three hours, and explained to me...the ins and outs of the program, where my money goes to, what it goes into, what it goes for, when they start the negotiation process, how the negotiation process starts...So instead of me paying on these places for years upon years, I'm only paying on them for three years [or so] because of the settlement that was reached. [A]s soon as I got off the phone with him, I had a warm and fuzzy [feeling], like: this is going to work. This is going to help me with my goal...this is going to help me out in the long run, I just have to be patient.”
If I have questions, I reach out to them. But we have it set to where on a monthly basis, [the man I talked to on the phone] reaches out to me to let me know...how the program's going and working for me and stuff like that. Where the negotiation processes is at that point in time, who they got settlements from. So we keep in touch with each other to make sure that everything is still on the up and up.
I would honestly say that that constant communication, that constant update and letting me know how things are going is probably the best thing [about the program]. Especially for me, because then that takes my worry away. I know that part's getting handled, I can worry about all the rest of the stuff.‡ Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.