RAM Financial Negotiates Sleep for Consumer

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Shortly after, the interest rate on his original card starting going up. “It was really tough,” John said. “I was out of control financially. Creditors kept calling at all hours. I completely stopped sleeping.”

It’s not his real name, but we’ll call him “John Smith”: an ordinary name for an ordinary guy with a problem that’s become frighteningly ordinary these days. The problem? Too much credit card debt with escalating interest fees.

John Smith started charging expenses on his credit card when his business experienced severe financial reversals. When that card was maxed out, he took out a second card. “I applied for that card because it had a low trial interest rate for a year,” he explained. By the time all was said and done, John had charged $43,000 on his two credit cards. “I was making it, though,” he said. “I was paying the minimums and some extra each month.”

He was making it—until the trial period was over, and the interest rate on his new card skyrocketed. Shortly after, the interest rate on his original card starting going up. “It was really tough,” John said. “I was out of control financially. Creditors kept calling at all hours. I completely stopped sleeping.”

Like most Americans, John is an independent guy. So he tried to battle out his financial problems on his own. “I kept paying the minimums,” he said, “but the more the interest rates went up, the deeper in debt I got. I could run the numbers, and they told me I was never going to get out of the jam I was in.” That was when John started calling the credit card companies back. “I wanted to work out a payment plan I could meet,” he said, “but no one would even talk to me. There are too many people in this situation right now. Credit card companies simply won’t work with individuals.”

Desperate, “John Smith” decided to look for help. “I needed a strategy to get out of debt,” he said. “I didn’t want to just stop paying my debts; I wanted to get into a program that would help me negotiate a workable plan.” John had seen ads on TV for debt reduction programs, but he wanted to go to someone he could trust. “I was renting office space from a friend,” he said, “so I asked him what he knew about these things. It turns out he grew up with one of the partners at RAM Financial. He told me Travis was a straight shooter, so I went to see him.”

John and Travis talked quite a bit before John signed up. “At first I didn’t quite understand their program,” he said, “but they explained it to me very clearly. On my own I did an eighteen-month amortization schedule, so I could track exactly how much I needed to put aside each month.” To help him keep close track of his progress, John opened a savings account dedicated to getting out of debt. “I wanted to keep the money separate so I could get a snapshot of where I was anytime I needed the information,” he explained.

Fifteen months later, “John Smith” is almost out of debt. RAM Financial has successfully completed negotiations with one company and is close to a settlement with the other company. “We expected to be done by now,” said John, “but the credit card companies keep changing the rules. A little over a year after we started, it’s a different game. The people at RAM keep up with what’s happening. They understand the laws and are able to help walk you through what’s legal and what’s not.”

Of course, John is relieved to be on the other side of the worst of his problems. But if he had to do it all over again, would he go to RAM? “Absolutely,” he said. “Once I enrolled in RAM’s Debt Reduction Program, it was easy for me to stay with it. I always knew exactly what payments I needed to make, but if I had a question, I could call or go by the office. Someone always answers the phone. RAM Financial isn’t a giant company, and they give their clients personal service. I never felt like a number with any of the staff. Sometimes I’d get a call or an email just asking me how things were going. If I said I was getting annoying phone calls again, the staff at RAM got in touch with the company and told them to leave me alone.”

So what’s changed for “John Smith” after his battle with his finances? “For one thing,” he says, “I only use my debit card now. When you get a credit card bill in the mail, the numbers you’re looking at are a month old. By using my debit card, I always know exactly where I stand. I haven’t used a credit card in a year, and I don’t miss it a bit.” And another thing has changed. “John Smith” is sleeping better than he has for a long time.

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Nicoli Menninger
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