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  • FIRST POST
    • Clawingback
    • By Clawingback 16th May 17, 4:05 PM
    • 22Posts
    • 5Thanks
    Clawingback
    Credit cards please help
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 4:05 PM
    Credit cards please help 16th May 17 at 4:05 PM
    I have quite a bit of debt, catalogues, credit union loans and credits cards. I am determined to claw my way out of this. Most of my debt is manageable except the credit cards esp vanquis.

    I have 2 cards, Vanquis limit of 3.5k (it's over that now due to missed payments) and aqua 2.2k.

    Has anyone any experience of vanquis? Would they accept a payment plan. I think realistically I can afford to pay them £225 a month (possibly extra on other months). I've no idea how I go about proposing this to them.
Page 3
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 18th May 17, 10:07 AM
    • 7,278 Posts
    • 38,519 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    First step is to rework the SOA accurately, to reflect what is happening with your money right now. You can then adjust it to include things like emergency fund etc, but first you need to find out what is happening to the excess money that you currently don't have free at the end of the month - it's clearly going somewhere, you need to know where though.

    Think about things like where cash in your wallet and her purse goes - you say nothing for entertainment but I bet there's the odd coffee, a Maccy's with the little one or them getting a comic or something when you're out.

    Until you actually know accurately where your money is going, there's a limit to what you can do about arranging payment plans etc as you don't really know what you've got to play with. As for arranging yourself or going through stepchange - it's really a personal choice, but you do need a high level of commitment and self control to self administer so bear that in mind.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£373.02
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 18th May 17, 10:21 AM
    • 474 Posts
    • 404 Thanks
    StopIt
    I know everyone's situation is different but id like some input in what others recommend for my situation.

    Try and arrange repayment plans with creditors myself or get onto a repayment plan with stepchange?
    Originally posted by Clawingback

    Get your finances on the table in full. Your table I mean


    Once you do, and once you keep a comprehensive spending diary (Excel is great for this sort of thing! If you want I can send you an Income/Expenditure diary template based on what I created for my household) for at least a month, you'll know exactly how much money you have to tackle your debts. if you need assistance from StepChange or similar, that's what they're there for. They will not recommend a DMP if they think you can get yourself sorted without one so they're not there to peddle services.


    Yes, it'll take a bit of work, but the more you put in, you more you get out, literally in this sort of thing.
    LOL - yes, again, fair point! Sometimes it can overwhelm people to add "another" thing to worry about on top of an already stressful situation though. some people want to know everything, all at once - while others need to deal with things in a structured way - getting the urgent stuff dealt with and then moving on to the lower in importance items.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean

    I am very much the former. I like to get the entire picture clear, then I know what I have to deal with. I am likely in a minority, especially as I am very much a numbers person with a high attention to detail, but I can't complain as I wouldn't be in the job I am in if I wasn't!
    Last edited by StopIt; 18-05-2017 at 10:24 AM.
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 18th May 17, 10:50 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    jools1985
    Hi and good luck with your plan. I was going to suggest selling everything you don't need, but I guess you are doing that as your partner seems very ebay savvy. Do you do the small things like daily clicks in imutual? I get around 25p a day doing that, not a fortune of course but I let it build to a fiver and withdraw it and pay it off a credit card.
    As for your partner signing on for National Insurance credits she won't need to do that if she is the one who claims Child Benefit and your child is under 12 years old. She will automatically get parent and carers credits. You can still check it out via the Gov.uk website on check my state pension.
    Also as long as you renew your tax credits before the deadline of 31/7/17 there is no reason for you to lose your entitlement to tax credits.
    • Clawingback
    • By Clawingback 18th May 17, 10:52 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Clawingback
    I know what one of the spending problems is. Normally when I'm paid one a month we go and get a big shop, then without fail every week it needs topping up, that's where the bulk of CB and TC go. For us I think it's unrealistic to do a big shop once a month.What we think would work so much better for us is doing a smaller weekly shop. Setting aside £50 a week for shopping (I take packed lunches to work) would make a big difference. Popping to the shop for bread more times than not ends in a basket full. Changing our shopping to only once a week would certainly cut that out.

    I spend £13 a week on tobacco, and £20 on alcohol the odd week for my partner. Money was spent on take aways too but my partner is trying to lose some weight so that stopped in the last couple of weeks.

    I want to start fresh from my next pay day (next month), so I will do another SOA with my ins and outs for next month, including setting aside a final amount for the shopping. We have no access to credit so we will make it work.
    • Clawingback
    • By Clawingback 18th May 17, 10:58 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Clawingback
    My partner used to he very active on survey sites ECT and she's been getting back into it over the last few weeks. CB is either in both of our names or just my name if the latter that's how it had to be done when we started claiming it (I'd prefer not to go into the reasons) so that's how it was left.

    I'm not sure what imutal is but I will certainly look into it. Every little helps.

    Thank you
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 18th May 17, 11:30 AM
    • 7,278 Posts
    • 38,519 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I know what one of the spending problems is. Normally when I'm paid one a month we go and get a big shop, then without fail every week it needs topping up, that's where the bulk of CB and TC go. For us I think it's unrealistic to do a big shop once a month.What we think would work so much better for us is doing a smaller weekly shop. Setting aside £50 a week for shopping (I take packed lunches to work) would make a big difference. Popping to the shop for bread more times than not ends in a basket full. Changing our shopping to only once a week would certainly cut that out.

    I spend £13 a week on tobacco, and £20 on alcohol the odd week for my partner. Money was spent on take aways too but my partner is trying to lose some weight so that stopped in the last couple of weeks.

    I want to start fresh from my next pay day (next month), so I will do another SOA with my ins and outs for next month, including setting aside a final amount for the shopping. We have no access to credit so we will make it work.
    Originally posted by Clawingback
    Yes - you're getting there. And I may as well say it before someone else does - giving up smoking would give you an additional £700 per year to throw at the debts... I know, easier said than done, but there is a lot of free help available these days if you want to, and if you smoke because you enjoy it rather than purely because giving up's proved too tough for you, you can always go back to it once the debt is cleared. Similarly your OH cutting their alcohol spend in half would again give you an additional lump for that same purpose.

    It's the odd spends that slip by everyone when they first start with an SOA. "We never go out so there's no cost for entertainment" actually turns out to be exactly as you'd said - fags & booze, and the odd takeaway - and there's £50 a month before you start. When you really start to dissect the detail you get the proper picture - which is why we nag and niggle at people to make their SOA accurate, and why we always question zero figures where, honestly, a zero is unlikely to be reflective of reality.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£373.02
    • Clawingback
    • By Clawingback 18th May 17, 11:51 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Clawingback
    The smoking atm will stay as it is, we are both aiming to stop at some point and have already cut back from a 50g pack a week. It's what works for us, we've tried cold turkey/patches ect but always end up right back where we started.

    I must say, its quite a shock once you really look into everything your spending money on.

    Just figuring out where were going so wrong has helped me feel a lot calmer about our debt and I can see its not as dire as it originally seemed.

    I've seen templates on the step change website, I'm going to download and print and send them off to vanquis, aqua and very asking them for the 30 days breathing space. Hopefully they agree, I'll have figured out the final budget by then. Then I will do the same with the payment plan templates.

    One thing I've tried finding the answer to online but can't. On months when I do overtime so have extra, if I say paid that extra to vanquis would that cancel the payment plan? (Assuming the agree to payment plan)
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 18th May 17, 12:09 PM
    • 474 Posts
    • 404 Thanks
    StopIt
    The smoking atm will stay as it is, we are both aiming to stop at some point and have already cut back from a 50g pack a week. It's what works for us, we've tried cold turkey/patches ect but always end up right back where we started.

    I must say, its quite a shock once you really look into everything your spending money on.

    Just figuring out where were going so wrong has helped me feel a lot calmer about our debt and I can see its not as dire as it originally seemed.

    I've seen templates on the step change website, I'm going to download and print and send them off to vanquis, aqua and very asking them for the 30 days breathing space. Hopefully they agree, I'll have figured out the final budget by then. Then I will do the same with the payment plan templates.

    One thing I've tried finding the answer to online but can't. On months when I do overtime so have extra, if I say paid that extra to vanquis would that cancel the payment plan? (Assuming the agree to payment plan)
    Originally posted by Clawingback

    You're not alone.


    This year me and my partner resolved to get a proper Emergency Fund together. Officially our personal SOA said we should have a £400 a month surplus yet we never saw it. Until we started logging purchases that is.


    We allocated a £50p/m Entertainment budget and stuck to it, rather than just spending on takeaways and coffee etc willy-nilly. The end result is a £1,000 fighting fund within 4 months, soon to be approx. £1750 by the end of June.


    This is to help smooth over a 3 month gap in pay as my partner is taking the full 12 months of maternity with the last 3 months unpaid but if we budget well enough we could avoid using a single penny of the Emergency Fund during that period.


    Set yourself a target, x amount or % of debt to clear by a certain time. Make it realistic, and beatable and you'll find yourself getting there and pushing harder to see just how well you can do. Give yourself an incentive to do so (Doesn't have to cost anything either, be creative!) and you'll be even more likely to want to succeed.


    Make this a challenge, not a chore. Enjoy the journey and you'll likely stay the course. Do not see it as a punishment or penance for getting into debt. Not only will it not work but you'll only cause unneeded stress.


    Edit: Speak to Step Change before sending anything like that. the online tools are great but nothing beats talking to someone who can help advise you fully.
    • Clawingback
    • By Clawingback 19th May 17, 1:41 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Clawingback
    The letter I originally sent to one of the credit card company has been responded to asking us to complete a form so they can help us arrange an affordable plan. I was expecting to have to argue back and forth, that's lifted more weight off our shoulders.
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