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Struggling with debt? Ask a debt advisor a question
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# 481
Quarry
Old 20-02-2013, 4:39 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by StepChange_James View Post
Hi Quarry,

I don't think a charging order would really help, it would just mean the debt became secured on your property. Generally speaking it's best to avoid this wherever possible.

There's no direct risk to your property at the moment and you would only have the possibility of the house becoming involved with these debts if your debts involved the courts. In my experience creditors generally prefer to avoid involving the courts unless the person in debt is ignoring the debts and not paying anything at all.

I'm really pleased that you've given us a call. When you have your telephone appointment the debt advisor will talk you through the powers your creditors have and I'm confident you'll feel better about things.

Kind regards

James
Thanks James.
I would be happy to be able to pay my debts when my house is sold, rather than being threatened with uncertainty. I don't expect it to be sold until I die. I have no depenants and the likely recipients of my estate could predecease me. Why do I need equity in a house when I'm dead, rather than financial security whilst I'm alive?

If I understand correctly, a charging order would mean that my debt would become a secured debt and the creditor could apply to have the house sold, so I would still be at risk of losing my home, however small that risk? If they forced a sale, would they be able to sell at less than market value, bearing in mind that I have a low mortgage and I do not have, and am never likely to have, any mortgage arrears?
Thanks.
Q.
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# 482
StepChange_James
Old 20-02-2013, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
Thanks James.
I would be happy to be able to pay my debts when my house is sold, rather than being threatened with uncertainty. I don't expect it to be sold until I die. I have no depenants and the likely recipients of my estate could predecease me. Why do I need equity in a house when I'm dead, rather than financial security whilst I'm alive?

If I understand correctly, a charging order would mean that my debt would become a secured debt and the creditor could apply to have the house sold, so I would still be at risk of losing my home, however small that risk? If they forced a sale, would they be able to sell at less than market value, bearing in mind that I have a low mortgage and I do not have, and am never likely to have, any mortgage arrears?
Thanks.
Q.
Hi Q,

You're right, there would be a small chance that the house might be at risk if you had a charging order (though the creditor would have to convince a judge that the house should be sold).

In the very unlikely event that there ever was an order for sale then it's likely the lender would try to get a decent price but perhaps not the full market value. I don't remember ever speaking to someone who's had this happened personally but I've spoken to many people who've had houses repossessed by their mortgage company and the house is usually sold for less than the full value but not substantially less.

Hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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# 483
Unicorn78
Old 20-02-2013, 9:59 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Default Debt coming off credit file

I have a credit card debt that is now with Lewis Debt Recovery acting on behalf of C L Finance Ltd. The balance is 2274.94. I have consistently paid a nominal amount of 15 per month which was agreed 5 years ago. The debt is marked in my credit file as defaulted and is due to come off my credit file in November. Today I have received correspondence from Lewis Debt Recovery claiming they have attempted to contact me on numerous occasions highlighting they are concerned about the outstanding balance of 2274.94. They threaten to send door collectors if I do not respond within 7 days. My questions are:

1) I am worried that they will demand full payment before November as they are aware that this debt will be removed from my file.
2) Can they take me to court for this money?
3) I have read somewhere that if you are acknowledging the debt by paying a nominal fee then they can take you to court at anytime even if it is not on your credit file.
4) I was in an unfortunate position a few years back when I couldn't pay debts however this is the last one to sort out although i did have a similar issue last year and the debt collector threatened court and i was served papers just before the debt was due to be removed from my file so had to find 2000 to avoid a CCJ. I hadnt been paying anything towards this debt if this makes a difference. I don't have that money this time around and desperately do not want a CCJ by being forced into a corner.

PLEASE HELP
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# 484
ronaldont
Old 21-02-2013, 9:17 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Hi There,

I have dug myself a really big hole with debt that I decided to get out of in December with a DMP from Step Change, unfortunately I have been unable to make 1 payment yet due to gambling addiction which I am now seeking help for, my question is will step change still help me by admitting a gambling problem and is it possible for me to pay step change on a 4 weekly basis on my pay date as the money sitting in my bank until the first or the tenth of the month is giving me too much temptation which I can’t manage at the moment

I am stressed to the extent of feeling physically unwell and it would be a great relief if I could start paying on my pay date and along with stopping gambling be debt free soon

Thank you
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# 485
StepChange_James
Old 21-02-2013, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn78 View Post
I have a credit card debt that is now with Lewis Debt Recovery acting on behalf of C L Finance Ltd. The balance is 2274.94. I have consistently paid a nominal amount of 15 per month which was agreed 5 years ago. The debt is marked in my credit file as defaulted and is due to come off my credit file in November. Today I have received correspondence from Lewis Debt Recovery claiming they have attempted to contact me on numerous occasions highlighting they are concerned about the outstanding balance of 2274.94. They threaten to send door collectors if I do not respond within 7 days. My questions are:

1) I am worried that they will demand full payment before November as they are aware that this debt will be removed from my file.
2) Can they take me to court for this money?
3) I have read somewhere that if you are acknowledging the debt by paying a nominal fee then they can take you to court at anytime even if it is not on your credit file.
4) I was in an unfortunate position a few years back when I couldn't pay debts however this is the last one to sort out although i did have a similar issue last year and the debt collector threatened court and i was served papers just before the debt was due to be removed from my file so had to find 2000 to avoid a CCJ. I hadnt been paying anything towards this debt if this makes a difference. I don't have that money this time around and desperately do not want a CCJ by being forced into a corner.

PLEASE HELP
Hi Unicorn,

Thanks for getting in touch. I'll reply using the same numbers to your questions to keep things simple.

1) The creditor can ask you for the full payment, but if you don't have the money then it doesn't really matter what they ask for so this isn't too much to worry about. Rather than the actual debt being removed from your file it sounds like it will be something like a default notice that will be removed. As you're still paying the debt off I'd expect a record of it to stay on your file.

2) From what you've said it sounds like this creditor would be able to enforce this debt through the courts by getting a county court judgment (CCJ). Most creditors are willing to come to arrangements directly with you rather than go down this route though.

3) If you've made payments on a debt in the last six years then your creditors can go for a CCJ if you're not making full payments. Again, I'd expect that this debt wouldn't drop off your credit file altogether anyway, usually there'll be payment history registered on there.

4) I find that a large chunk of the people I speak to who've got CCJs had stopped paying their debts for a while in the run up to getting the CCJ. So it reduces the chances of getting one if you're making regular payments (though it's still possible).

If any doorstep collectors do arrive on your door it's usually best to tell them to go away. They don't have any particular powers and are not bailiffs. They'll ask for a payment and if you say no they have to go away.

It may be possible to get this debt sorted out before it comes to that though. I'd suggest putting together an update income and expenditure budget that shows what you can afford to offer as a payment and sending that to this debt collector. That way they'll know you're trying your best and will be able to understand your circumstances.

We can help you put this together as part of our advice process. You can do this online using out Debt Remedy tool (http://www.stepchange.org/msehelp) or you could give us a call and an advisor will talk you through things (http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx).

All the best.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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# 486
StepChange_James
Old 21-02-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldont View Post
Hi There,

I have dug myself a really big hole with debt that I decided to get out of in December with a DMP from Step Change, unfortunately I have been unable to make 1 payment yet due to gambling addiction which I am now seeking help for, my question is will step change still help me by admitting a gambling problem and is it possible for me to pay step change on a 4 weekly basis on my pay date as the money sitting in my bank until the first or the tenth of the month is giving me too much temptation which I cant manage at the moment

I am stressed to the extent of feeling physically unwell and it would be a great relief if I could start paying on my pay date and along with stopping gambling be debt free soon

Thank you
Hi there,

Firstly I'd like to congratulate you on the progress you've made. Realising that you've got a problem and seeking help are huge steps to take when dealing with any addiction. It's great to hear that you're on the right path now.

I guess from your message that you know our standard direct debit collection dates are the 1st and 10th of the month, we don't have any other dates we can collect payments this way. However, under the circumstances it'll probably be worth getting in touch with us to discuss alternatives way to pay.

You could perhaps look to set up a Standing Order were you make a payment to us on your payday and it'll then sit in our account until the actual payment date rolls around. Or we accept payments via transcash (payment slips) though we try to discourage this as our clients have to pay a fee to send money to us this way.

I'd suggest giving us a call, we're a friendly bunch and should be able to talk through options to try and make the payments work for you. We always pay creditors on a calendar monthly basis but it doesn't mean we can't look to find a way for you to pay us that will reduce temptation for you.

All the best.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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# 487
ronaldont
Old 21-02-2013, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StepChange_James View Post
Hi there,

Firstly I'd like to congratulate you on the progress you've made. Realising that you've got a problem and seeking help are huge steps to take when dealing with any addiction. It's great to hear that you're on the right path now.

I guess from your message that you know our standard direct debit collection dates are the 1st and 10th of the month, we don't have any other dates we can collect payments this way. However, under the circumstances it'll probably be worth getting in touch with us to discuss alternatives way to pay.

You could perhaps look to set up a Standing Order were you make a payment to us on your payday and it'll then sit in our account until the actual payment date rolls around. Or we accept payments via transcash (payment slips) though we try to discourage this as our clients have to pay a fee to send money to us this way.

I'd suggest giving us a call, we're a friendly bunch and should be able to talk through options to try and make the payments work for you. We always pay creditors on a calendar monthly basis but it doesn't mean we can't look to find a way for you to pay us that will reduce temptation for you.

All the best.

James
Thanks James I will give step change a call tonight
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# 488
Missskint
Old 21-02-2013, 8:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: East midlands
Posts: 11
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Hi

I was looking for some advice on what if anything can be done on my overdraft charges for my previous student account, the balance is 1,100. Currently i am paying around 15 in interest and this is money i can ill afford and sometimes cuts into my essentials budget (rent, bills food).The interest will go up again in september.

I was recieving employment and support allowence for three years and got it down 500 but then i was made to go for an assement and failed this and the tribunal so am now claiming 71 a week jobseekers allowence with the view to apply for esa again in a week or so.

I have contacted the bank and they say there is nothing i can do as i signed up to the terms and conditions, which i did but circumstances have changed and i would like to approach them again and ask for a freeze in the interest and or a reduction, i could switch accounts to a halifax current account and have an intrest free overdraft for 12 months if iam accepted, plus 100 for switching which i would use to pay some of it off. The downside is that after the 12 months it is more expensive than the one i have at the moment and i will struggle/ find it impossibly to pay of 1000 in a year.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
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# 489
GlitterQueen
Old 22-02-2013, 1:17 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 8
Default

Hello,
I have a 6 months+ arrears marker on my credit file with all 3 agencies and a 'gone away' marker on my file with just one agency. It is from a car hire purchase agreement which I last made a payment on in 2003. The car was returned to the finance company. I haven't had a permanent address for any length of time until recently since 2003 but now I am in a position to try to sort this out. I am not working at the moment and have no savings.Nevertheless, I want to begin re-building my life and I want to clear my files of these markers. Its one creditor and the amount on the file that shows as outstanding is 3400 approx. I want to know all of my options before I do anything.
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# 490
StepChange_James
Old 22-02-2013, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missskint View Post
Hi

I was looking for some advice on what if anything can be done on my overdraft charges for my previous student account, the balance is 1,100. Currently i am paying around 15 in interest and this is money i can ill afford and sometimes cuts into my essentials budget (rent, bills food).The interest will go up again in september.

I was recieving employment and support allowence for three years and got it down 500 but then i was made to go for an assement and failed this and the tribunal so am now claiming 71 a week jobseekers allowence with the view to apply for esa again in a week or so.

I have contacted the bank and they say there is nothing i can do as i signed up to the terms and conditions, which i did but circumstances have changed and i would like to approach them again and ask for a freeze in the interest and or a reduction, i could switch accounts to a halifax current account and have an intrest free overdraft for 12 months if iam accepted, plus 100 for switching which i would use to pay some of it off. The downside is that after the 12 months it is more expensive than the one i have at the moment and i will struggle/ find it impossibly to pay of 1000 in a year.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Hi Missskint,

It sounds like changing banks to the Halifax one might not be a great idea, or at least moving the overdraft over might not work out great. I say this because it seems like it'll buy some time but not really solve the problem.

If your income is 71 a week then it may be tricky to get approved for a new overdraft anyway.

One thing I would recommend though would be to look at getting a new bank account (without an overdraft) with a bank you don't have any debts with and use that for your main bank account. This way there'll be no risk of the bank taking money from your account without your permission.

Once you've moved accounts you could then look to negotiate a payment plan with your old bank to bring down the overdraft. Often banks will consider freezing interest and charges if they accept your payment offer.

We can help you put together this sort of payment offer. All you need to do is use our online debt advice tool, Debt Remedy (http://www.stepchange.org/msehelp) it takes about 20 minutes and will talk you through your options and guide you through the next steps.

If you'd prefer you could give us a call and speak to an advisor (http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx).

All the best.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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# 491
StepChange_James
Old 22-02-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlitterQueen View Post
Hello,
I have a 6 months+ arrears marker on my credit file with all 3 agencies and a 'gone away' marker on my file with just one agency. It is from a car hire purchase agreement which I last made a payment on in 2003. The car was returned to the finance company. I haven't had a permanent address for any length of time until recently since 2003 but now I am in a position to try to sort this out. I am not working at the moment and have no savings.Nevertheless, I want to begin re-building my life and I want to clear my files of these markers. Its one creditor and the amount on the file that shows as outstanding is 3400 approx. I want to know all of my options before I do anything.
Hi GlitterQueen (love your name!)

Your credit history should only have details of debts that you've made payments on in the last six years, so it's a surprise to hear that you've got one on there from ten years ago! It might be worth looking into that one and seeing if there's any reason why it's still showing up on there.

You could contact the company listed as dealing with the debt on your credit file and send them this letter: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....php?t=2607247. This basically asks them to prove that you still have a debt to repay. If you do then you could contact us and we can talk you through how to deal with it.

On the other hand it could be that the debt is showing on your credit report as a mistake.

Generally speaking it's unusual for debts to be enforced after such a long time as they are classed as statute barred if you've not made a payment or acknowledged the debt in writing in the last six years. This doesn't mean the debt doesn't exist but it does mean that they can't enforce the debt through the courts.

Hope this helps.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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# 492
Missskint
Old 22-02-2013, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: East midlands
Posts: 11
Default

Thank you James that has give me a good starting point.

In total i get 149 a week, i am reluctant to open a new bank accountas it will mess up my payments and mean i might be without money whilst everything is transfering but it's worth looking into i also pay the interest from that account so my money has to be payed into it.

i'm not sure the bank will be onside if i leave them?

i will look into this further because i can't afford the interest.
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# 493
StepChange_James
Old 22-02-2013, 5:31 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missskint View Post
Thank you James that has give me a good starting point.

In total i get 149 a week, i am reluctant to open a new bank accountas it will mess up my payments and mean i might be without money whilst everything is transfering but it's worth looking into i also pay the interest from that account so my money has to be payed into it.

i'm not sure the bank will be onside if i leave them?

i will look into this further because i can't afford the interest.
Hi again,

Glad to help. I completely understand what you're on about with changing banks, it can be a faff. Some banks help you transfer to them with a switching service though, which I've been told takes a bit of the hassle away.

The reason we give the advice about changing banks is because of something called the right of offset. Martin's got an article on the main site about it: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/setting-off.

If anything, changing banks should make it easier to negotiate with your current bank. While you're still getting your income paid to them they can take your money without your permission, once you've changed they'll only get what you are willing to give them.

All the best and please get in touch if you'd like to talk further about things.

Kind regards

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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# 494
Spendthrift82
Old 22-02-2013, 9:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Default Struggling

Please could you help me, I'm really struggling.
I earn a decent wage of 19750 per year but I never have more than 200 a month for food and travel because my credit card, loan and overdraft are too piled up with debt. I can only afford the minimum payment on my credit card and that isn't covering the monthly interest so the minimum payment just gets higher every month even though I'm no longer using the card.
I really don't know what to do, I'm getting desperate.
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# 495
GlitterQueen
Old 22-02-2013, 10:15 PM
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Posts: 8
Default late payment markers

Hello James,
Thanks for your reply

Should i contact the credit reference agencies about the markers on the file or take it up with the creditor? If the debt is legally unenforceable after 6 years do you think I'd be able to argue to get the markers removed going back to 2009 while I'm dealing with the issue?
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# 496
hopperson
Old 23-02-2013, 1:55 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gainsborough, Lincs
Posts: 34
Unhappy just want to pay everything off... but can't!! :(

I have a current account with Santander, having moved from Smile bank a couple of years ago. My overdraft with Santander has been increased to 900 this month; I also have two accounts remaining with Smile - both are overdrawn and I under 'overdraft reduction measures' with both accounts. I have an outstanding balance of 4,370 on my Barclaycard, and an Argos card with an 880 balance outstanding. Finally, I am paying off a fixed-sum personal loan with Smile for 2,000 which will be paid off in Nov 2014. So my total debts amount to around 7,800.
I went to Santander this week to apply for a bank loan (7.7% APR) for this amount but was rejected due to my credit score.
My monthly income is 1290, my outgoings amount to 1,230.
I would really like to be able to pay the whole lot off and start again.
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# 497
Levej
Old 24-02-2013, 9:53 AM
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Posts: 1
Default How to clear overdraft

Hi there,

I'm 25, in full time professional employment and earning 30,000 before tax.

I am 1,500 in my overdraft which is interest free for another year. I am really struggling to get out of my overdraft and I wondered what the best way to do this would be.

I have looked at some of the super balance transfer options on this site and they look like they might work well for me. I just wondered what your thoughts were on these?

Many kind regards

J
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# 498
Lilypuppy
Old 24-02-2013, 2:40 PM
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Posts: 3
Default Big Mess Help Required Please

Hi there,

This is all new to me, so I do hope I am getting it right. I am writing to request help or advice and support. My husband and I both work, with ok jobs ( I am a part time primary teacher and he works for DWP), so our joint salary is 53,000 pa. We have 3 adult daughters, all living at home. The two who are working pay rent of 200 per month each. We have always supported the girls, paid for driving lessons, tests, insurance, first cars etc.

But we are in a mess. We have a mortgage of 160,500 and unsecured credit card debt of 28,000. We run a couple of old cars (needed for work which is 20 miles away), have Sky tv, but little else in terms of luxury. Our house is worth 220,000. We have a debt mountain and I don't know what to do for the best. At the moment everything is up to date, but any day now I will no longer be able to service the debts. This is because all credit is maxed and we are struggling to get more (fair enough!). I can't work full time as I have a degenerative muscle disease and even working 3 days is a challenge. I can't get DLA due to being able to walk ok.

I think I need to ask what we should do with regard to either shifting debt to a personal loan or a secured loan or a debt management plan. However, we need to be careful, as we have had the house up for sale for a year, in the hope we can move nearer to work and release equity for debts. Problem is, that no sale means no equity and we are going under, if not this month, then next.

Please can someone advise us? And before anyone says it, yes, we have been beyond stupid, but light bulb moment has arrived, so please be kind! Thanks for reading, Lilypuppy

I have now used the Step Change tool, which suggests either we downsize and use the equity to clear debts, or we take out a DMP. Both sound great, but what worries me is if we sell the house we will need a mortgage, which we will struggle to get on a DMP. Please can you still offer me advice? Thank you so much, Lily

Last edited by Lilypuppy; 25-02-2013 at 12:10 PM. Reason: PS I have now used the Step Change tool, which suggests either a DMP or to sell the house, clear the debts and start again.
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# 499
StepChange_James
Old 25-02-2013, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spendthrift82 View Post
Please could you help me, I'm really struggling.
I earn a decent wage of 19750 per year but I never have more than 200 a month for food and travel because my credit card, loan and overdraft are too piled up with debt. I can only afford the minimum payment on my credit card and that isn't covering the monthly interest so the minimum payment just gets higher every month even though I'm no longer using the card.
I really don't know what to do, I'm getting desperate.
X
Hi Spendthrift82

It sounds like things are a bit of a struggle at the moment. I'd suggest the first thing to do would be to plan a monthly budget and see where you stand.

We can help you do this, either online using our Debt Remedy tool (http://www.stepchange.org/msehelp) or over the phone (http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx). We'll help you plan out your income and expenditure and from there offer you customised advice about how to move forward.

It depends how your finances stack up as to the best advice. If careful budgeting can lead to generating a bit more spare money every month then that might be all that's needed. On the other hand, if there's not enough money coming in to cover everything we can talk you through the various debt solutions and give you impartial advice.

All the best.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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StepChange_James
Old 25-02-2013, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by GlitterQueen View Post
Hello James,
Thanks for your reply

Should i contact the credit reference agencies about the markers on the file or take it up with the creditor? If the debt is legally unenforceable after 6 years do you think I'd be able to argue to get the markers removed going back to 2009 while I'm dealing with the issue?
Hi GlitterQueen,

It seems really strange that a debt that is still showing your credit report. If you contact the credit reference agency then they may be able to explain why something that's over six years old is still there. They're the best people to speak to first to try to get to the bottom of what's on your file.

Or if you'd prefer you could call us (http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx) with your credit report on hand and one of our helpline advisors might be able to help you make sense of what's on there.

Hope this helps.

James
I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy
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