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Taking on my debt! - If you're in the same boat stop worrying and take action


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Hi All

 

I've been a long time lurker on this forum and thought I would post my own experience for any other lurkers out there who are in a similar position.

 

We all have our own different reasons for falling into debt, the important thing to me is that the why doesn't really matter, you are in debt and need to deal with it. It certainly didn't seem to matter to my creditors who acted like a shark smelling blood in the water and circled in to bite the biggest chunks out they could before anyone else got in there.

 

I made some rather basic mistakes (and I know seasoned CAGGERS will be smiling grimly here) and tried to borrow more to pay off my debts including taking out payday loans.

 

My first word of advice to anyone thinking of going down this route is DON'T take on further borrowing.

 

If you are struggling now only taking on more debt is only likely to make things worse. There may be the odd person out there who this worked for but they are few and far between. If you're in trouble face up to it NOW and it will make things a lot easier in the long run and will also mean you will pay off your debts in less time.

 

Once I started falling behind with repayments the phone calls and harrassment started. I have a total of 17 creditors so most days 6-8 calls an hour was normal. This is where my lurking on this forum helped me, and I refused to accept these calls and answer security questions. The odd occasion I did try to resolve things on the phone resulted in the usual pressure tactics, spurious claims, lies and threats.

 

I took the slightly drastic action of changing my phone number as this was also disrupting my family. Yes this is slightly inconvenient and I had to inform friends and family of my new number but a quick text sent out to everyone on my mobile and job done! This is a lot less inconvenient than having the phone ring every 5 minutes and having to answer it as it may just be from someone I want to speak to :D

 

Remember - You don't have to speak to these clowns. Keep everything in writing and keep in control.

 

If you feel you are being harrassed there are lots of steps you can take. There are many threads on this forum on this topic, read them and take back control of your phone!

 

The next big step to take is acknowledge you are in debt and this doesn't make you a bad person, a failure, **** etc etc. This very old fashioned view of being in debt is what your creditors rely on to apply pressure. This is absolute bovine excrement! :D

 

Once you acknowledge you are in debt the next thing to do is to understand exactly how much debt you have. Get a pen and paper/excel spreadsheet, whatever floats your boat and write down every single creditor and the balance. When I did this myself it was a real shock but also really helped me focus, I didn't let it get me down. Instead I now had something tangible to deal with rather than the month to month getting by, robbing Peter to pay Paul etc, just to meet minimum payments.

 

I then got together my income/expenditure sheet. Again there are lots of really good resources out there to help you do this. I had already being doing this for the last 12 months but just wasn't being realistic and consequently couldn't understand why I wasn't meeting my budget. Don't make my mistake - be realistic.

 

Also just because you are in debt it doesn't mean you can't live. In my budget I hadn't factored in things like clothes, entertainment, school trips, pocket money etc. Even the debt charities CCCS, Payplan insist you have to live (your creditors though, initially, think you should live in a cave until your clothes are threadbare on your back to pay their balances).

 

The result for me was I am left with £300 to pay back £19,000 with 17 creditors.

 

I have come up with my own DMP and am currently writing to all my creditors with a prorata offer (some of them being less than £2 a month).

 

Something I also have done is open a new current account with another bank (not linked to any of my creditors) and have my wages deposited into there. This is not the big deal a lot of people make it out to be and setting up SO's rather than DD's took a couple of hours.

 

If any of you out there have payday loans I can only emphasise you have to do this. If you don't they will bleed your account dry and keep taking the money you need to live.

 

I am only on the start of my journey but I feel much more in control now and am much more relaxed than before. I know a debt mountain can seem impossible to manage but its not. The first thing to do is relax, there are loads of people out there to support and help you.

 

Also remember this - the majority of your creditors do not have your best interests at heart and are only going to look out for themselves. Don't let them get at you, the majority have no moral highground to be beating you from, they themselves were grovelling for handouts from the government only 18 months ago!

 

Chin up and you'll get through it

 

Crispy

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Excellent advice crispy.

Just to add that you should check to see if the debts are enforcable.

Good luck on your journey and remember CAG is here if you need any help or just a bit of moral support.:)

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Hi Wino

 

Thanks for the response and support. The fun and games have started already! (see my other posts!) :)

 

Thanks for the reminder on checking on whether the agreements are enforceable (Am going down this route with a couple of creditors not because I'm trying to get out of my obligations but purely to strike back as they have been such a-holes to deal with!)

 

Best

 

Crispy

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