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Best route out of my debt


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Hi all,

 

I am trying to sort out the mess of debt I am in since I was a teenager.

 

I have 3 credit cards:

 

  • Egg: £7900 limit - at limit, paying off £450 a month, will not be using this going forward but maxed it after my wedding a couple of months ago.
  • MBNA: £7500 limit - maxed, minimum payments.
  • American Express: £2900 - maxed, minimum payments.

 

I earn a minimum of £1800 a month (after tax). Commission can take my earnings up to about £2600 (after tax), with an average of about £2100 (after tax).

 

I have a company car.

 

My bank overdraft is £2300 and is currently maxed but I have an expenses claim for £1000 to be paid on 21st Nov. My balance normally drops to -£1500 before I get paid.

 

I am in the process of claiming bank charges back. I was offered £800 as a good will gesture a couple of years ago which I never took. I estimate they have charged me about £2400 over the last 16 years.

 

I am in the process of cancelling Sky and other luxuries that I simply cannot afford.

 

 

I have been really stupid with money all my life. I work hard and used to play hard. I am trying to sort this all out as I now have a wife and don't want this to affect her life any more than it already has.

 

Can anyone help me out with the best plan for getting out of this debt?

 

Any help will be greatly received as I am only now facing up to this and pulling my hair out...

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Hi Trevster, the first move, if you have not already done so is to destroy the cards. Get going with reclaiming these bank charges, there is a template for on this site to copy and send. Use any refunds towards paying off the debts. Also how old are these debts ?.

As you are cutting back on outgoings go to comparison sites such as Martin Lewis and check out the best deals on utilitys etc.

Edited by blueda
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Thanks blueda,

 

You're right I know I need to destroy the cards. My biggest problem here is one of them I sometimes use for work expenses... Not sure what to do here.

 

I printed off an SAR for Barclays this morning and will send it with a postal order tomorrow morning.

 

I cancelled Sky this afternoon as well. Not heard of Martin Lewis - will check that out first thing in the morning.

 

 

I've had the CC debt, in some form or another, for about 16 years. I've shifted it from scheme to scheme to take advantage of 0% interest offers etc.

 

I would estimate that the Egg account is from about 2003, MBNA from 2004 and American Express from about 2007.

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Could you use a bank debit card for the works expenses ? providing that you have the funds to cover. As the credit cards are pre 2007 you could send for CCA requests to find out if the debts are legally enforcable, however if you go along this route and stop paying them, then there is a risk that the banks will trash your credit rating , even though they are not supposed to do so. Also the absence of valid CCA can be used to negotiate settlements with the creditors if that is the route that you want to go.

Edited by blueda
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Hi Trevster :)

 

Please remember, if you have any charges on those Credit cards, you can reclaim those as well. It is worth your while sending a SAR letter to the card companys just to check.

 

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/48-bank-templates/110--data-protection-act-1998-subject-access-request-

 

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Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Yes, I should be able to do that after a month or two. Once I've managed to get out of my overdraft enough to cover the expense.

 

When (if) I get the bank charges back then that should pay off enough of the overdraft to enable me to cut the last card up...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't up to now. But I am considering such things.

 

A company called Aspire Debt Solutions just called me out of the blue. I never made contact with them ever, yet the just ring my landline - I'm with the TPS so wasn't best pleased...

 

They offer a debt management solution that is "government backed" to try and cancel interest, and consolidate debt making it more manageable to pay.

 

Anyone done this? Is there a catch?

 

I know it will affect my credit rating, but for how long? I want to buy a house at some point in the future...

 

 

Any help appreciated.

 

 

Also, I've been put off the Barclays charges claim after the news a few weeks ago - whats the latest? Is it still worth doing?

Edited by Trevster
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Trevster, I would not use anyone who cold calls you. There are organisations out there who will help you for free. National debtline for instance

 

Usually bad credit shows up on your credit file for 6 years but donet worry about that the damage is already done.

 

The way I got out of debt was to concentrate on gettin rid of one debt at a time, pay what you can on the others at least the mimimun payment.

 

The latest on the bank charges case is to wait for the revised letter templates to be made public and then follow whatever advise that the experts give us.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Trevster

 

I am in a debt management plan, but agree with the above posts in that they would be difficult to trust. I personally have never heard of this company.

I am with Payplan debt management, which has so far been working really well for me. If you do not want anything formal, like the IVA, a DMP is a good option to try whilst considering other formal options xx

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