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Confused, ashamed and in need of some direction

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You've all probably heard this a million times before but I'm about to take my head out from the sand and attempt to feel human again.

 

Coming from a living-on-the-breadline family I started university in 2006 and whilst my work was soaring my credit score was nose diving. I felt invincible and having access to so many overdrafts seemed like a never ending pot of money that I could dip into only having to pay it back when I was earning over 60k (I couldn't have been further away from the truth!). Like alot of students being lured into shiny banks with their free mp3 players and customer advisors literally begging you to join up to their bank and give you their cash, they always said the same thing..."you just have to pay this off when you finish university".

 

I applied and received my first student overdraft which was maxed out and received phone calls and letters that I had to pay the amount off in full as I had not used the account in 2 months as my student loan had not yet been paid into my account. The account was closed and passed off onto debt collectors which harrassed me constantly (which I can understand as it was my fault and no one elses). I managed to pay this off in installments using my student loan and another overdraft which is when the cycle repeated 3 more times (stupidly).

 

I moved around a couple of houses throughout the years as students do stupidly thinking my debtors would not be able to find me and just write it off. In 2009 I was contacted by a friend of a friend saying that he knew someone who had been bombarded with visits and letters from debt collection agencies from a previous address of mine, I have never been so embarassed. Knowing that I had messed up my financial status was one thing (a huge thing) but bringing in other people to my situation was something worse. Eventually I was given a CCJ due to my lack of communication and I haven't contacted them out of fear if I let them know where I am they will come and take all my belongings due to me not being able to pay the full amount.

 

My two other overdraft accounts have been closed and I am called regularly to contact them. One of these is Halifax who I also hold a current account with where my wage is paid into, every time I check my account I'm absolutely terrified that they would have closed my account and used any money I had left to pay towards the arrears of my overdraft. I don't know whether to open a current account with no overdraft and have my wages paid into there whilst my debts are sorted out.

 

I've recently moved to a new city where I have a full time job but I'm living hand to mouth, I would usually have £200 spare at the end of every month and wanted to contact my debtors but my girlfriend has recently become unemployed and I am having to pay 2 peoples rent leaving me with hardly any spare cash even after major budgeting. I haven't even updated my details with my bank out of fear.

 

I don't know where to start, I've felt so guilty and irresponsilble for too long. I just want to be normal and not forever in fear or hiding my mobile phone from friends when a 08XX XXX XXXX number rings.

 

Here are my list of debts:

 

£1,400 - Wescot. CCJ

£2,500 - Barclays. Closed account

£1,000 - Halifax. Closed account (current account is still active)

 

 

I want to clean the slate (as best as possible) and start my life with a breath of fresh air, no guilt and some money in the bank. At the moment I can't even get credit for a bar of Dairy Milk.

 

Looking back I can't understand how I was such and idiot, so young and now marked with a terrible credit rating. What makes it worse is that all the other posts on this forum are from families struggling to make ends meet and getting into trouble through no other option but mine was due to not using any common sense.

 

I hope someone can point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it. Apologies for the essay-long post, but I've never told anyone the whole story and thought the least I could do was to post it on here.

 

Thanks for any advice in advance.

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Hi and welcome to CAG

 

You mention 2006 as when you started Uni.

 

What was the date that you got the CCJ?

 

On the other two accounts, when was the last payment you made into the account or acknowledged it in writing?


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Hello ims21, thanks for getting back to me.

 

I started Uni in 2006 and finished last year.

 

I received the CCJ in early 2010.

 

The last payment made into the Barclays account was January 2011 and the last payment into the Halifax account was May 2009.

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Get full statements for all your accounts. Chances are you have a fair amount of penalty fees or unfair charges which you can reclaim and get the debt lowered.

 

Have you checked your Credit files and checked that the accounts appear on there?

 

regarding your CCJ, its a straightforward job to get it set aside, you can use the defence that it was sent to the incorrect address, therefore you didnt recieve it. However, you will need proof of this, such as tenancy agreements etc.


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Hi renegadeimp,

 

Would I have to directly contact my debtors to get statements of all accounts? How would I go about reclaiming any charges etc?

 

I have applied to receive my Experian credit report and will post any additional information on here when it comes through.

 

To get my CCJ set aside do I need to contact the court or my debtors with my tenancy agreement? If I contact the court would they say that I would have had to know about it to contact them in the first place?

 

Thanks for the reply.

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Send each creditor a SAR. It will cost you £10 for each and must be sent to the original creditor. They are then legally obliged to send you all documentation they hold on you within 40 days. Banks and other creditors never tell you that you have charges/penalty fees you can reclaim because in some cases, it will leave them severely out of pocket.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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so as it stands your cra file is Screwed till 2017

 

if you sort out barclays [fat chance]

 

then it will be early 2010

 

if you did not know about the CCJ you could get it set aside

that would reset that debt to before judgement.

 

but in all honesty , i dont usually say ths

 

it might be better to keep your head down!

 

even if you start paying

 

it wont cure your cra but just lenghten it

 

dx


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It'll be unlikely a set aside will be granted unless

 

a) The CCJ wasn't served at your last known address, and the creditor knew that was the case (if it was sent it to the wrong address on purpose and this can be proven then a set aside should be mandatory). Not getting a copy of the claim form does in no way guarantee set aside at all.

b) Any application needs to be made promptly (e.g. within weeks rather than months)

c) You will need a realistic prospect of success in defending the claim.

 

Given all that I think DX is on the right track.

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Been there..but you're doing the right thing by at least trying to sort things.

One piece of advice..make sure you have your priorities...the reason why you are doing what you are doing.

Its sad but you should consider the following as most important..and (IMHO) they normally go something like this.

1) Work - its your income/career/future.. you have worked hard (school/college/uni/jobs..) for this... and there's no reason why your past should impact this going forward so dont let it! Do what you need to protect this and your ability to earn -don'f mess up in work if your struggling worrying about debts.See next point..

2) Health (keep strong mentally) and emotionally - don't let this impact your relationships - especially as you mention girlfriend. However - be careful not to take on other peoples problems (debts) if you are struggling - does she know your situation? You wont have to go far to disoiver how destructive debt is on personal front. Hiding or keeping truth from loved ones is BS..Unless you really can deal with it yourself the reality (IMHO) is that it is much better to be candid and upfront. If she doesnt like it and leaves - well thats tough but at least you know where you stand - imagine if you had mortgage and debts and negative equity!Thrown in kids and divorce and maintenance payments!! You'd be liable for so much more.. Keep that sense of perspective. Together as a team you will be stronger. Trust builds relationships - and she might be stronger for it too- also may help spur her on with dealing with her (unemployment..been there too..tough but need to pick self up get back in fight...)

3) Analyse and review your current situation/budget - Not sure on your rent situation .. are you living together / joint or sep liable for rent? Who's name is the tenancy agreement in. If it comes to it can you quit early - downsize or move to a smaller/cheaper place? How realistic is the budget - do you budget together, how equal and fair is this - how has it changed with recent events. What simple things can you both do.

 

4) Options - safety net.. Look on these forums for parachute account.. basic bank account. You dont need OD - you dont need credit card. You can get a basic bank account - review who you have debts with and check none of these are in same group (SET OFF rules) You can get your employer to pay this into this account. All legal and will help you budget etc. This will remove your fear on banks nabbing money...

 

Hope this helps good luck

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Time will help, It might be a good idea not to get credit but to learn how to save your money instead. Trust me, I learnt the hard way. I had £40,000 worth of debt and felt like I was in a complete black hole.

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