photo © 2008 Mike Baird | more info (via: Wylio)When Amanda and her husband gave birth to their third child her paycheck was greatly reduced during maternity leave. After an increase in interest and payments on their credit cards, they could no longer afford their minimum monthly payments owed.
At one point in time there was no problem paying these dues but they soon found themselves looking at their new minimum payments and having to make a choice between those payments or their mortgage. Amanda soon got tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Something needed to change.
Amanda enlisted for help through Consumer Recovery Network (CRN) to get her debt under control. CRN offers two levels of service, Basic Membership and Full Membership. In both programs clients are provided with all-inclusive education materials and “all the tools necessary to be successful in dealing with your debt.” Amanda opted to learn from CRN and deal with her creditors on her own.
I figured why not learn to do it for myself instead of paying someone to do it for me. The more money I could keep for myself and my family rather than giving someone else my money, sounded like a much better option.
To some, doing this yourself may appear to be a daunting task. One of the benefits of working with CRN is that for those that do not want to deal with their creditors on their own they offer the option to work on your behalf for mediation and negotiation but will also teach you how to handle your bills yourself.
According to Amanda, the DIY approach was very easy. She received CD’s that walked her through the entire process. She states, “I had a better grasp on the situation that would be coming up.” Amanda was not completely on her own as she was assigned a debt coach, Dean, whom she could call with questions to make sure what was happening was supposed to be occurring. Dean would inform her of what to expect and things to do and say when she made her phone calls to creditors.
Every time I would call Dean he’d have the answer I needed to hear or be able to direct me in what needed to be done. If I got his voicemail, he was always very prompt in calling me back. I thought this was important because often times I’d receive a notice in the mail that I wanted answers on right away, and I would always get that. He also never made me feel like I was wrong or bad in any way.
As most people encounter when digging themselves out of debt, Amanda felt “embarrassed and alone for a long time… There’s a lot of embarrassment that goes along with this kind of debt and aside from my husband, no one else knew. That dirty little secret.” However, she found that her creditors were nice and understanding of her situation once she explained what was going on.
I do need [to say] how appreciative and grateful I am to the CRN program. I never thought that I would find a company that actually cares about the customer more than making a buck. That’s how I felt about CRN. Such a great thing to educate people before they try to talk them into taking their money and do it for them. Many other companies I looked at talked about collecting a percentage of what was settled and they would do the settlement for me. They also were going to spread the settlement into 18 months or more (while collecting a monthly fee of course). This just seemed like a LONG time and I was ready to be finished with the whole thing. CRN was a much better option because I could do it myself and learn the correct way to clean up my own mess myself–not pay someone to clean it up for me.
Becoming debt free and having the ability to provide for her family was Amanda’s biggest motivator during this entire process. “Not being a slave to minimum payments was a very liberating feeling.”
Now, Amanda and her husband find that life and finances are still tight but have peace of mind knowing where their money is coming from when minimum payments come due. “It is also liberating knowing that I’m no longer a slave to the vicious cycle of forever minimum payments.”