Client Services Q&A with Lilisbeth F.
Consolidated Credit TV commercials are supposed to encourage Americans to get out of debt. For Lili, it encouraged her to do that and more – she got a job at Consolidated Credit.
“I always saw the commercials, and I said, ‘Oh I want to work there.’ I always wanted to get into customer service,” she says. “Luckily I moved here and got the position I always wanted.”
Now that you’re doing what you’ve always dreamed, how is it?
“I feel very happy helping customers every day,” she says. “I have been in the same situation as these clients but the difference is, with the experience that I’m gaining, I now know how to control my credit card spending and how to spend my money. I’m now able to share my experiences and opinions with the clients. Having an account here is also a plus.”
How did you get into debt?
“I had two credit cards and had trouble with one of them. I was spending and spending,” she discloses. “Then I got to the limit and I had to pay. I was paying, but only $20 was going towards my principal. I put the credit card on the program on March 2013, and the balance has gone down considerably.”
“Before, my minimum payment was $75 and I was charged $45 in interest. Now that I’m on the program, they’re only charging me $20 in interest. My interest rates went from 20-something percent to 12 percent. I can now see a difference.”
How has being on the debt management program enhanced your job as a customer service rep?
Lili explains with an example…
“I had one client who wanted to cancel the program. She asked me, ‘What do you think I should do?’ I told her that I would give her my opinion not as a representative, but as Lili – because I’m also on the program. I asked her, ‘Do you want to continue paying the bank and pay more than the balance that you owe, or would you rather save money and get out of debt?’ I gave her all the details and she decided to stay on the program.”
What’s the most memorable call you’ve received?
“There’s this client I’ve spoken to a couple of times already, and when she started telling me about her situation, I wanted to cry,” Lili recounts. “But I didn’t want her to hear me cry because, in my opinion, we have to be strong for the client and give them the strength to cope. She had problems with the IRS and she was about to lose her car. She only had less than four months left on the program and wanted to give up. I said to her, ‘You still have a home, you have a place to live, try to stick with it and after this you will be OK.’”
“I always try to build up our clients and make them feel better. In this particular case her original debt was about $100,000.”
There’s always a reason why people fall into debt. What’s the most common reason you’ve heard?
“Job loss,” she said. “They used credit cards to supplement their living expenses while they weren’t working. Another is payday loans that have high interest rates.”
What’s the nicest thing a client has ever said to you?
“Most clients say, ‘Thank you so much. God bless you. You guys have the best company. Joining your program is the best thing. I will definitely recommend your program to other people who are facing the same situation.’”
But the most flattering of all: “Some clients always ask to speak with me because they say I give good advice.”
What advice do you have for folks who are drowning in credit card debt?
“Try to use cash and avoid opening credit cards,” she advises. “But if you do decide to get a card, read the terms of the credit card agreement before you get one. Pay the balance the same month, so you don’t get charged interest.”
Let Consolidated Credit shine light on your budget
If multiple credit cards and credit card debt are blinding you, Consolidated Credit can help improve your overall financial outlook. Dial to speak with a certified credit counselor. Or, if you want to find out how much debt you’re in, take our free Debt & Budget Analysis online.