"I would do anything, anything. What's the fastest way to get there before I lose my daughter, lose everything I have," she said.
But most well-paying jobs required a bachelor's degree. Andrea only had a high school diploma.
So the Ohio native lied on her resume, as CBS News Correspondent Kelly Wallace reports. She claimed to be a graduate of Akron University -- which is actually called the University of Akron.
Stanfield said she didn't think about the consequences.
"I worked really hard to put the consequences out of my head."
The lie led to two high-level financial jobs and a six-figure salary. But it also caused severe guilt, anxiety attacks and a second divorce.
"I did lose part of myself, part of my life, you can't get that back," said Stanfield. "I lived ten years of my life deceiving everyone I knew."
Three out of ten people lie on their resumes - according to experts.
In a tight economy, with unemployment close to ten percent more job seekers may be feeling desperate enough to stretch the truth.
"We have seen a substantial increase in resume fraud over the last 12 to 24 months," said Greg Slamowitz.
His firm counsels businesses on the importance of screening resumes. But even his company was almost fooled last year. A background check raised suspicions about a candidate's degree and her diploma.
"At first glance it looked good," he said. On closer examination, the word "ninety" was misspelled.
Ben Allen says clients at his security firm Kroll, are requesting more in-depth background checks than ever before. Ninety-six percent of companies nationwide do background checks - up from 66 percent more than ten years ago.
"People are asking us to check more than they have historically. So it would suggest they're more concerned about it," said Allen.
As for Andrea, after spending a decade looking over her shoulder, she quit her job before being caught and turned her past into a book: "Phony! How I Faked My Way Through Life."
"You might pull it off for years, but it's going to get worse and worse and worse," she said. "It's not worth it."
Andrea says her actions cost her her integrity, and ten years later she's still trying to earn it back.