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  • fermi
    • #2
    • 24th Dec 11, 12:21 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Dec 11, 12:21 PM
    And here is a copy on southernscouser's very useful Help for First Time Posters & SOA Calculator post.

    This is a really useful thread for newbies to the Debt Free Wannabe Board

    New MoneySavers should read this in conjunction with Where To Start With Problem Debts on the main site.



    Welcome to MSE and the Debt Free Wannabe board.

    Now I know this is a bit of an essay but please read through the whole thing. In the long run it will save you and us lots of time.

    This is a guide for anyone who wants to start battling the debt demons but isn't quite sure where to start.


    First things first, well done for confronting your debt. This is quite commonly know on here as your "light bulb moment". This is the biggest and hardest step you will take so if you can do this you CAN become debt free.

    When I first posted I felt ashamed, guilty, sick, embarrassed, angry! But don't beat yourself up. There are thousands who have made the same mistakes as you and me and I promise you that within hours of posting you will be feeling more positive and willing to tackle your debts head on!

    You wonít be judged (certainly not by me, look at my signature ) so donít be ashamed to admit everything. Although it pains me to say it there are a lot of top people on this board.

    The other members on here are so genuine and helpful it is unbelievable. I don't think there is much between us that we can't help with.

    For other MSE users to be able to help you as best we can you need to provide us with as much information as possible. You donít have to include your life story (although the nosier ones wonít mind if you do ) but we do need to know every penny you have coming in, and every penny going out. The more accurate and detailed you are the better the advice will be. We call this a SOA (state of affairs).



    Here is a link to a really useful SOA calculator thanks to Clariman. CLICK HERE



    Below is a rough template;
    Monthly Incomings:

    My salary - £1,330.34
    Partners salary - £874.32
    Benefits - £100

    Total - £2,304.66

    Monthly Outgoings:

    Mortgage/Rent - £700
    Council Tax - £89
    Gas - £20
    Electric - £20.53
    TV License - £10.99
    Sky £45.99
    Phone - £40.79
    Food - £300
    Car Insurance - £32.53
    Petrol - £80
    Life Insurance £20

    Total: £1,359.83

    Make sure you include EVERYTHING you can think of!

    Also give us as much detail about your debts as you can especially with the APRís. If you donít know them, phone the credit companies up and get them to tell you.

    Egg CC Ė Balance £2,300 (limit £2,500) APR 12.9%

    Tesco Loan Ė Balance £5,000 APR 8.9% Length of term 60 months, 12 months to go

    Overdraft - £800 (limit £1,000) APR 20%

    The SOA will be the first thing any other user will ask you for and it's essential you get it as accurate as possible!


    Also start a spending diary. Note down every single penny you spend each day. It's amazing where it all goes. I was spending over £30 a month on the drink and snack machines at work! That's a minimum £360 a year!

    This is crucial in telling you where the "spare £300" a month goes!


    Also below are the contact details of Debt Management Charities. They will not charge you a penny like other companies and are amazingly well thought of by people on these boards. In fact I donít think Iíve heard a bad word about them yet.

    They offer great financial advice and like I said are totally free to use.

    You may have seen the adverts on TV saying "we reduced Mr Blogg's monthly payments from £1200 to only £300 per month and will be debt free in 5 years"! Ignore those (insert swear word here) leaches! The charities below offer you exactly the same service but for no cost!


    Consumer Credit Counselling Service (aka CCCS)
    Wade House
    Merrion Centre
    Leeds
    LS2 8NG
    Tel: 0800 138 1111
    http://www.cccs.co.uk/


    Citizens Advice Bureau (aka CAB)
    http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/


    Now you may have, or been tempted to, consolidate your debts. Now although I wouldn't totally disregard the idea quite often just shuffling your debts around can prove to be a far more cheaper and practical way to go about things!

    There is a fantastic online calculator (link below) that you input all your debts and the amount you can afford to pay each month, and the calculator will tell you what debt to pay first and how much to pay each month. It also gives you a debt free date which can be a great motivation and a target to work to.

    http://www.whatsthecost.co.uk/snowball.aspx

    There are lots more things I could cover on here but I don't want to baffle myself too much, let alone you!

    Everything I haven't included will be picked up by the other posters anyway so just concentrate what is on here first and we'll take things from there!


    Lastly, if ever you need advice, comforting, encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, someone to rant to, or a kick up the !!!! (you know who you are ), there will always be sympathetic ears and polished boots on this board.

    Good luck

    SS
    Originally posted by southernscouser
    Last edited by fermi; 02-08-2013 at 4:31 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Loans, and Benefits boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com | > New to Forum? Click for Guide <

    Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

    IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed
  • fermi
    • #3
    • 28th Nov 12, 5:19 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Nov 12, 5:19 PM
    For now I will also highlight the very informative thread from StepChange here:

    StepChange #debtmyths

    Well worth reading as there are many 'myths' out there that can hinder people on their debt free journey if they are believed.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Loans, and Benefits boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com | > New to Forum? Click for Guide <

    Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

    IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed
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