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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 18th Nov 16, 1:05 PM
    • 8,695Posts
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    MSE Andrea
    Struggling with debt? Ask a debt advisor a question
    • #1
    • 18th Nov 16, 1:05 PM
    Struggling with debt? Ask a debt advisor a question 18th Nov 16 at 1:05 PM
    If you need help with your debts, this is the thread for you.

    Trained advisors from StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) are here and waiting to answer your debt questions. They’re a friendly bunch so please don’t be shy!

    There are three ways to get in touch:

    1 - Simply post your question below and Richard, Allen, Rachael, Linsi or Kirsty will reply. If your question is about bankruptcy, then pop over to the Bankruptcy board.

    2 - If you would prefer to ask a question in private, feel free to send a message to StepChange Private Messages.

    3 – StepChange Debt Remedy is a free and confidential online debt advice tool. You can put a budget together at your pace, and you can also talk it over with an advisor through online chat.

    If you're a StepChange Debt Charity client already, please contact its Aftercare team rather than posting in this thread (their contact details are in your Welcome Pack).

    This is discussion thread part four, see parts one, two and three.

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Page 27
  • StepChange_Rachael
    Hi Rosie

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

    I can see why NatWest may have not wanted to secure the debt due to you currently not having to pay interest, however I appreciate if you can’t maintain the minimum payments as well as your household bills and general living costs this decision would seem frustrating and you’d need to consider an alternative solution.

    When you’re attempting to meet the minimum payments and this is causing further borrowing or causing you to fall into arrears, then it’s worth looking into the alternative options available to you.

    As there are many different ways to deal with problem debt it’s important the advice is based on your finances and debt total.

    I’d suggest getting free, impartial debt advice. For this you’d need details of your income, expenditure as well as the debts.

    You can use Debt Remedy, StepChange's debt advice tool online to get a good idea of the routes available to you.

    Take care
    Rachael



    Hello
    I am new to the forums. I am unsure what to do with my credit card debts. I have £15k of debt over 3 credit cards, £12k of which I accumulated from renovating my house.
    Initially when I took the credit cards, I thought I would add them on to my mortgage at the earliest opportunity as they were used to renovate and therefore didn't feel 'bad' for doing this. I had a meeting with Natwest who told me that because my credit cards are at 0% and are so for another 18 months, they cannot offer me debt consolidation as this is against their responsible lending.
    I understand this, but my problem is that my repayments on the credit cards amount to £450 which impacts upon my money available and I am going overdrawn every month due to not having enough disposable income to cover food, petrol etc.
    I am unsure what to do in the long term. I am not going to clear £15k anytime soon by paying the minimum (or low) repayments but equally not having enough money to see me through each month!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.
    Many thanks
    Rosie
    Originally posted by Rosie86
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • Rosie86
    • By Rosie86 6th Nov 17, 7:13 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Rosie86
    Thanks Rachael.

    I'll give this a go and let you know how I get on.
    • mrsjolie
    • By mrsjolie 7th Nov 17, 6:21 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    mrsjolie
    Hi, I have been in a DMP with Stepchange for many years and still have many years to go. I recently sent a CCA request to the company that holds my largest debt and I have discovered that this debt is unenforceable. It was an MBNA credit card which was taken in the 1990's at a concession stand in a shopping centre and they have written to me saying that they are unable to locate the original agreement. Would Stepchange remove this from my DMP? The balance is over 9k. Not having to pay it would make a considerable difference to the length of time it would take me to pay off my remaining debts.
    Last edited by mrsjolie; 07-11-2017 at 6:36 PM.
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Hi Mrs Jolie

    Thanks for your message and welcome to the forum.

    To review your DMP and the list of debts you’ll need to call our Client Support team. Their direct telephone number will be in your welcome pack or you can find it here on our website. They’re open 8am to 6pm weekdays.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon,

    Linsi

    Hi, I have been in a DMP with Stepchange for many years and still have many years to go. I recently sent a CCA request to the company that holds my largest debt and I have discovered that this debt is unenforceable. It was an MBNA credit card which was taken in the 1990's at a concession stand in a shopping centre and they have written to me saying that they are unable to locate the original agreement. Would Stepchange remove this from my DMP? The balance is over 9k. Not having to pay it would make a considerable difference to the length of time it would take me to pay off my remaining debts.
    Originally posted by mrsjolie
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • mrsjolie
    • By mrsjolie 8th Nov 17, 2:43 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    mrsjolie
    Thanks Linsi but I don't need a review.
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Hi

    By reviewing, I meant talking a bit more about the MBNA credit card, updating the list of debts and confirming any changes such as the term of your DMP.

    I hope this is a bit clearer,

    Linsi

    Thanks Linsi but I don't need a review.
    Originally posted by mrsjolie
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • Ej14
    • By Ej14 9th Nov 17, 6:47 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ej14
    Thanks Rachel I will give them a call
    • Bolian72
    • By Bolian72 9th Nov 17, 11:11 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Bolian72
    47k in debt
    Hello this is my first post. I've decided to face my debts and done my sums, I've calculated I'm nearly 47k in debt and I'm stuck. The final straw was when I went to my bank for some help with the new overdraft charges and they offered me a loan to pay the overdraft back which would mean I would have no money at all left after paying all my bills. So far I haven't missed any payments but with overdraft charges of £5.67 a day I'm soon going to have nothing. So how did it come to this, I've had things go wrong in my house which needed money to be borrowed to fix, my car has broken down with expensive repairs, just general living it creeps up on you stuff is needed you don't have the money so you borrow then you borrow more. So enough I need help
  • StepChange_Kirsty
    Hello,

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

    I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been experiencing. As you say, life happens and when unexpected costs come up you have to deal with them as best you can at the time.

    Rest assured we’ll be able to provide you with some help and advice but we’ll need to understand more about your financial situation. The best way to do this is using our online Debt Remedy tool where you can input details of your income, expenditure and debts. Debt Remedy will then tell you what the best solution is for your individual circumstances and you’ll be able to access lots of useful information in the form of a personal action plan.

    I hope this helps and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kirsty

    Hello this is my first post. I've decided to face my debts and done my sums, I've calculated I'm nearly 47k in debt and I'm stuck. The final straw was when I went to my bank for some help with the new overdraft charges and they offered me a loan to pay the overdraft back which would mean I would have no money at all left after paying all my bills. So far I haven't missed any payments but with overdraft charges of £5.67 a day I'm soon going to have nothing. So how did it come to this, I've had things go wrong in my house which needed money to be borrowed to fix, my car has broken down with expensive repairs, just general living it creeps up on you stuff is needed you don't have the money so you borrow then you borrow more. So enough I need help
    Originally posted by Bolian72
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • Eastlands70
    • By Eastlands70 15th Nov 17, 4:05 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Eastlands70
    Hi,

    I've racked up a significant amount of credit card debt over recent years - about 38k - and so far been able to service it by juggling 0% BT deals. However, a lot of these deals are due to run out shortly and new deals from the CC companies are nowhere near as forthcoming as they used to be, presumably because my debt level has been going up rather than down. I need to act fast, preferably sometime in January at the latest as once February comes around the first big tranche of my 0% CC deals comes to an end. I wouldn't mind but my general bills - utilities and stuff - are all on the cheapest deals and I'm not exactly blowing money left, right, and centre. This is mainly general living expenses and having to use my income to keep both me and my partner who can't work due to health grounds, plus no pay rise at work for nearly 4 years has had an impact too. I can make further cutbacks that may save me another £100 a month but I need to do something else to keep the ogre of the expiring 0% deals away from the door. I don't believe my options are that exhausted that I have to go on a DMP and was thinking of taking out a personal loan to pay down most of the CC debt as well as my £3000 overdraft with Halifax which is costing me a fortune since they introduced the new charges at the start of the month. I also have a bank account with First Direct and it seems I may be eligible for a personal loan of up to £30,000 with them. However, they've quoted me an APR of 9.9% as opposed to the advertised 3.0% and I can't really afford the monthly payments of £490 over 84 months as well as whatever I need to pay to service the rest of the CC debt. I can probably afford a loan of £25,000 though and because I've realised the debt needs tackling, I think I can be disciplined enough not to let things spiral further.

    Would it be advisable for me to wait until after Christmas to see if I can get a better APR from First Direct? Bear in mind that I think I can reduce my CC debt by between £1000 and £1500 between now and then. My credit score isn't great at the moment due to the high level of debt but I've not missed a CC payment in more than 20 years and I'm bang up to date with my mortgage payments.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Eastlands70; 15-11-2017 at 4:07 PM.
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Hi

    Thanks for your message.

    I really can’t say whether or not you’ll be able to get a better interest rate on a loan in the New Year, this will probably depend on what offers First Direct have at the time.

    The advice we give as a charity involves managing existing debt without relying on existing credit. Advice about consolidation loans isn’t something we’re able to provide but you can find a financial advisor through the Money Advice Service, who’ll be able to give advice about the loans available to you and when to apply.

    If you decide not to get a loan and what to look at alternative options such as a DMP you can use our online Debt Remedy tool to get advice. It’s completely anonymous and free to use, here’s the link.

    All the best,

    Linsi

    Hi,

    I've racked up a significant amount of credit card debt over recent years - about 38k - and so far been able to service it by juggling 0% BT deals. However, a lot of these deals are due to run out shortly and new deals from the CC companies are nowhere near as forthcoming as they used to be, presumably because my debt level has been going up rather than down. I need to act fast, preferably sometime in January at the latest as once February comes around the first big tranche of my 0% CC deals comes to an end. I wouldn't mind but my general bills - utilities and stuff - are all on the cheapest deals and I'm not exactly blowing money left, right, and centre. This is mainly general living expenses and having to use my income to keep both me and my partner who can't work due to health grounds, plus no pay rise at work for nearly 4 years has had an impact too. I can make further cutbacks that may save me another £100 a month but I need to do something else to keep the ogre of the expiring 0% deals away from the door. I don't believe my options are that exhausted that I have to go on a DMP and was thinking of taking out a personal loan to pay down most of the CC debt as well as my £3000 overdraft with Halifax which is costing me a fortune since they introduced the new charges at the start of the month. I also have a bank account with First Direct and it seems I may be eligible for a personal loan of up to £30,000 with them. However, they've quoted me an APR of 9.9% as opposed to the advertised 3.0% and I can't really afford the monthly payments of £490 over 84 months as well as whatever I need to pay to service the rest of the CC debt. I can probably afford a loan of £25,000 though and because I've realised the debt needs tackling, I think I can be disciplined enough not to let things spiral further.

    Would it be advisable for me to wait until after Christmas to see if I can get a better APR from First Direct? Bear in mind that I think I can reduce my CC debt by between £1000 and £1500 between now and then. My credit score isn't great at the moment due to the high level of debt but I've not missed a CC payment in more than 20 years and I'm bang up to date with my mortgage payments.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Eastlands70
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • Eastlands70
    • By Eastlands70 15th Nov 17, 4:46 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Eastlands70
    Ok, thanks for the quick response Linsi - understood.
    • Mindis
    • By Mindis 15th Nov 17, 8:45 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mindis
    Hello Guys,
    At the moment me and my wife are in quite big debt. Including overdrafts, we are at around £25k. We are paying every month and dont miss payments, but at the moment my wife is on the maternity leave with the second child and soon she will stop getting money for the maternity. We have 3 credit cards which 2 of them is with 0% apr and one with almost 20% ( 12500 in dept in this one ). Including all fees we are paying around £650 for the debt. At the end of the month we dont have any spare money to take our kids out or buy anything nice.
    Now we are in the closed loop, cant get loan ( some with 3.1% apr )because we dont have spare income. Loan would lower monthly payments and of course we would pay off more of the debt then interest.
    Do we have any options?
    Regards,
    Mindis
    • aalexandram
    • By aalexandram 15th Nov 17, 9:40 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    aalexandram
    Hi

    I am on a Debt Management Plan through Stepchange. I owe approximately £2700 to Shop Direct (Very) and they are going to charge me £450 interest next month for a 'Buy Now Pay Later' purchase.

    I currently pay £20 a month through the DMP to them so it will take me at least another 2.5 years to pay off this extra interest.

    They say they have frozen the 'account' interest which I didn't realise I was paying...and this is at 50% APR!! Prior to entering the DMP I never paid any interest as I always paid the BNPL payments on time. I was advised today that apparently customers have to pay an account interest on top of the BNPL interest - so 2 lots of interest!!! I can't believe I didn't know this!

    Anyway, they said the cannot freeze BNPL interest as they don't have the power to. I am sure someone there can do something! Apparently they can only freeze 'account interest',

    Please help - is there a genuine reason as to why BNPL interest cannot be frozen?! They are plunging me further and further into debt and I started the DMP in June at £44k.

    Shop Direct advised that Stepchange should have specifically advised that BNPL interest cannot be frozen. Stepchange advised that there could be a possibility of interest not being frozen on any of the accounts, but not specifically in respect of BNPL. I explained that Stepchange are not at fault and that I felt Shop Direct were being awkward because someone there must be able to do something.

    All other creditors have frozen interest apart from them.
  • StepChange_Rachael
    Hi Mindis

    Thanks for posting on the forum.

    I can understand that you’d want to look at your options with the change in finances coming up.

    You’ve mentioned that currently you’re just about managing but that the budget is already tight with the current income and that you’ve already explored your options to try and lower the payments through further borrowing.

    It sounds like the payments are going to become unmanageable soon and it’s important that your income is available for your household bills and general living costs as a priority.

    Based on this information I’d suggest discussing your options further with a free debt advisory service to find out what options are available for you going forward.

    You can explore your options using StepChange’s online tool Debt Remedy.

    Thanks
    Rachael


    Hello Guys,
    At the moment me and my wife are in quite big debt. Including overdrafts, we are at around £25k. We are paying every month and dont miss payments, but at the moment my wife is on the maternity leave with the second child and soon she will stop getting money for the maternity. We have 3 credit cards which 2 of them is with 0% apr and one with almost 20% ( 12500 in dept in this one ). Including all fees we are paying around £650 for the debt. At the end of the month we dont have any spare money to take our kids out or buy anything nice.
    Now we are in the closed loop, cant get loan ( some with 3.1% apr )because we dont have spare income. Loan would lower monthly payments and of course we would pay off more of the debt then interest.
    Do we have any options?
    Regards,
    Mindis
    Originally posted by Mindis
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • Mindis
    • By Mindis 16th Nov 17, 1:43 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mindis
    Thank you for the advice Rachael.
    As I am self employed, website takes me to a different site, businessdebtline.org, can I trust this site?
    Regards,
    Mindis
    Last edited by Mindis; Yesterday at 1:55 PM.
  • StepChange_Rachael
    Hi

    Thanks for posting on the forum.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a difficult time with Shop Direct/Very and them not stopping all the interest on your account.

    Most creditors will stop interest and charges when you’re in a debt management plan (DMP), as you’ve mentioned the others have, but unfortunately this can’t be guaranteed.

    I’d suggest speaking directly with us and the team dealing with your DMP so we can discuss this issue further with you. You can find our contact details here.

    I’d also suggest checking within your original contract, information of interest and charges should have been detailed in the paperwork.

    If you feel that a company hasn’t given you the right details or you’ve been misled then you can make a formal complaint following their complaints process which should be found on the company’s website.

    All the best,
    Rachael




    Hi

    I am on a Debt Management Plan through Stepchange. I owe approximately £2700 to Shop Direct (Very) and they are going to charge me £450 interest next month for a 'Buy Now Pay Later' purchase.

    I currently pay £20 a month through the DMP to them so it will take me at least another 2.5 years to pay off this extra interest.

    They say they have frozen the 'account' interest which I didn't realise I was paying...and this is at 50% APR!! Prior to entering the DMP I never paid any interest as I always paid the BNPL payments on time. I was advised today that apparently customers have to pay an account interest on top of the BNPL interest - so 2 lots of interest!!! I can't believe I didn't know this!

    Anyway, they said the cannot freeze BNPL interest as they don't have the power to. I am sure someone there can do something! Apparently they can only freeze 'account interest',

    Please help - is there a genuine reason as to why BNPL interest cannot be frozen?! They are plunging me further and further into debt and I started the DMP in June at £44k.

    Shop Direct advised that Stepchange should have specifically advised that BNPL interest cannot be frozen. Stepchange advised that there could be a possibility of interest not being frozen on any of the accounts, but not specifically in respect of BNPL. I explained that Stepchange are not at fault and that I felt Shop Direct were being awkward because someone there must be able to do something.

    All other creditors have frozen interest apart from them.
    Originally posted by aalexandram
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
  • StepChange_Rachael
    Hi Mindis

    Glad to be able to help.

    The Business Debtline are a trusted organisation that offer free and impartial debt advice that’s tailored to business debt and self-employed clients.

    Debt advice for self-employed and business debt can be very different and can impact a business.

    They’re specially trained to be able to provide this advice and tailor it so clients are fully aware of any impact to their business before going ahead with any advice or recommendations. This is why we now advise self-employed people to speak with them.

    They can also include personal debts in with the advice so can deal with both.

    Best wishes going forward.

    Thanks
    Rachael


    Thank you for the advice Rachael.
    As I am self employed, website takes me to a different site, businessdebtline.org, can I trust this site?
    Regards,
    Mindis
    Originally posted by Mindis
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity 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.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
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