“Thank you BALANCE for the “Dealing with Furloughs” webinar. While I’ve always appreciated what BALANCE does, I’m most grateful for your ability and commitment to cover difficult content that’s helpful and relevant to our Members and communities.
Most content providers focus on “normal” life without pivoting to address current challenges. BALANCE covers the goals-and-dreams tips, but also takes a rooted-in-reality approach to our changing environment, which is just what our Members and partners need right now. It’s the perfect balance.”
Wrynn Valentine Reynoso
Financial Wellness Advocate, Redwood Credit Union
“Since the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, Balance has been a true partner to Renasant Bank’s teammates and customers as well as the general public! Balance has assisted Renasant in sharing vital financial management information internally and through social media that is tailored to the needs of those struggling with the economic impact of the pandemic.
We are now embarking on the development of another series of webinars that further explore ways to react to these difficult times involving Renasant staff and Balance financial education experts! Finally, Balance staff involvement, direction and flexibility have been invaluable in helping the bank in its mission to positively impact all of the communities we serve!”
Jim Beaty, Jr
Vice President & Community Outreach & Development Resource Officer, Renasant Bank
“Since launching BALANCE, in February of 2021, more than 1,400 of our members have utilized the tools and resources offered through the BALANCE program. This is a tremendous success to help our members become informed and knowledgeable about how to improve their financial well-being. Thank you BALANCE!”
President / CEO, DOLFCU Financial Cooperative
“I want to thank you for all the education I received last spring from a very smart woman would need to check my notes for her name [Sheryl Feenan]. Well since I have taken most to all her suggestions and implemented them into my spending as well as constant prompt bill paying all direct NEVER LATE, keeping balances lower than 30% of available open small credit line cards and use it for a monthly bill or two constant throughout the year and wow my personal credit went up 80 points in less than one year about 10 months.
So, I will say your staff and company taught me things I never was taught or knew about revolving debt so keep up your commitment to educating people because my credit score made it possible for me to buy my retirement home. God bless you all thank you.”
A Satisfied BALANCE Client
“The financial counselor who worked with me was patient, extremely knowledgeable, and skilled. I felt very well looked after and learned how to prioritize my financial goals. I really could not have done this on my own, and now, nine months later, I am close to meeting my financial goal of being debt free on my credit card. I continue to record monthly expenses and find it very illuminating. It was a great experience overall and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
COVID19 forced me into some hard choices and with the support of a financial counselor, it was easy to make. Now I rent my house and live rent free with family. While I do not have reliable employment, I receive unemployment and have intermittent work in the schools. This was a very worthwhile experience and gave me control and confidence in part of my life that seemed out of reach. Thanks again!”
A Satisfied BALANCE Client
Mr. Ross is a retired engineer and came to work with BALANCE through his former employer.
When he called in to BALANCE he was in a tight position – he had to choose what bills he would pay with the money he had and the money he had wasn’t enough to pay all of his bills.
Our financial counselor, Omar, happened to be the one who picked up his call. It was the end of the day, with 15-minutes until Omar could clock out. He was going to suggest scheduling a call for the next day, but he heard the urgency in Mr. Ross’s voice and stayed late to help him.
“I was so thankful to finally have a plan,” Mr. Ross said. “It’s like I was in a tunnel with no light until BALANCE gave me a path and then I could see a small light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a relief to know what to do.”
Mr. Ross was touched by the compassion with which Omar served him that day. “It was so refreshing to see someone that dedicated to their job,” he said.
He also appreciated the flexibility and resources BALANCE offered him. “Your advice is a recommendation, not a requirement for your service, I can follow as much as I choose to.”
He said if he had one piece of advice for the skeptics it would be this: you need an expert. “Are you ever afraid to call your doctor when you’re sick? Or your lawyer when you need legal advice?” he pondered. “This is the same thing – you’re reaching out to someone that’s an expert about something you don’t know and there is no shame in that.”
James Rick Ross
A Satisfied BALANCE Client
A Q&A Session With A BALANCE Customer
We caught up with one of our customers, Bradley, who recently finished paying off his debt using BALANCE’s financial coaching services. Bradley shares his experience working with BALANCE and following a Debt Management Plan.
Below he shares not just the mechanics of his journey, but also the emotional journey; how he felt in the beginning, the middle and now. His story inspires us and we hope it inspires you as well. Bradley (California)
How did you find out about BALANCE and our services?
Three years ago, I found out about BALANCE. I knew I had overspent and was having a hard time paying my minimum monthly payments each month as I slowly got into more and more debt. I knew something had to change. I had to take control of my finances and create a budget that I could live with while paying off over $11,600 of debt. BALANCE helped me pay my debts $293 at a time (that was my monthly payment structured and agreed upon with myself, BALANCE & my Creditors).
I was nervous and ashamed when I contacted BALANCE but no one ever made me feel bad. Everyone was there to help me regain a balanced budget while paying down my debt. BALANCE worked with me and put a 4-year plan together to get me out of debt without having to beg or borrow from friends or family.
Tell me about the experience of paying off your debt a year early. To what do you attribute your success?
I realized during the pandemic that every year of debt I was paying down had about 1 month of just pure interest. I decided to save enough to pay down my debt one year early and save myself an extra $300 in interest, which is no small change. To save money, I started watching what I spent. Making coffee at home instead of going to a coffee shop, for example. Using coupons and app discounts for restaurants, I was able to shave up to 50% off my expenses. In addition, I always use coupons when grocery shopping to save even more. I also started streaming movies instead of going to the movies @ $20 or more a visit. I also looked at any smaller bills I could pay down to zero to eliminate smaller monthly payments.
What would you tell someone that is wary about using BALANCE’s services?
BALANCE is worth the time and dedication to help you pay your debt down in a simple, spelled-out, managed way. Creditors work with BALANCE to reduce your monthly payments, cutting your interest paid (sometimes in half). In addition, most importantly stops unwanted collection calls and eliminates late fees & over-limit fees.
Do not worry. With BALANCE’s help, you will rebuild your credit score and be financially responsible so that when you need credit again, it will be there for you to use. Responsibly!
What was it like working with BALANCE Operations Representative, Sonny, during your DMP?
Surprisingly, every time I called BALANCE – which might have only been one time every three-four months, I always got Sonny on the phone. It was nice having one person who was always there for me. Whenever I had a question or wanted to update my balances Sonny was always there, happy to help and encouraging my success with never missing a payment.
I called Sonny after my 36th (of 48) payments and told him my plan to pay off my debt one year early. He was happy to help without a hitch. He was even encouraging & congratulating me, which made me feel successful in my debt management payoff plan.
How do you feel now that you have paid off your debt? Any reflections as you look back.
Wow, I am proud of myself for getting out of debt in 3 years. I am still mad at myself for letting it happen in the first place, but I have learned from my old spending history, and I have developed new healthy spending habits. Three years ago, I could not breathe with the burden of my debts. Today, I have built a stronger working budget for myself. One that I can live with and still save a little. My credit score has gone from the high 500’s to the mid 700’s thanks to BALANCE. The best part is that my life now feels balanced too!
A Satisfied BALANCE Client