My Other Life, Samantha Bassett, Debt Collector

A Credit to Her Profession: Nail tech Samantha Bassett also works as a debt collector for a credit union.

“There are two types of people: those who can’t pay and those who won’t pay,” says Samantha Bassett. And she should know. In addition to owning a home-based nail salon called Tekhe (the Cornish word for “beautify”), Bassett works as a debt collector for First Credit Union in Hamilton, New Zealand. She stumbled on the job a few years ago after spotting an online want ad. “I thought it sounded extremely interesting, so I applied that night. A week later, I got a call to go in for an interview,” she says. “They were very impressed with my CV and skills. The fact that I had no knowledge of debt collection work did not seem bother them.”

<p>Samantha Bassett</p>

As it turns out, she likes the work. “I enjoy the variety of things I get to do. Not only do I follow up on the current loans that are overdue, I also try to locate and contact old ones that were forgotten about years ago,” she says.

Bassett is aware that most people see debt collection as a bad thing — having to do with repossessions or court actions. And for people who are able to pay but don’t, that may be true. “But for the people who are unable to pay, we are more than happy to try and help them handle their financial burdens by looking at their finances and seeing where they can decrease or increase payments to make it a little bit easier for them,” she says. “We may also ring their other creditors and see if they are able to extend the term to lower their payments.

“A lot of people are embarrassed when it comes to admitting they are facing financial strife. We try to build a good rapport with our members as that leads to trust, then when it comes to asking for help, they find it easier to contact us and admit they are stuck.”

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