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    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 11:30 AM
    • 32Posts
    • 26Thanks
    Andy222
    Advice and guidance please..
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 17, 11:30 AM
    Advice and guidance please.. 9th Jul 17 at 11:30 AM
    Dear Community,

    I'm looking for some advice regarding how I can fix my financial situation most effectively.

    I'm in a sticky situation which I have allowed to continue for a number of years now, and it is time to get things in order and put this behind me once and for all.

    Ok, so here's the deal..

    I have a number of smallish outstanding debts from some years ago, which I never paid..because I could not afford to. There are maybe six or seven of them. Obviously, I should have paid them off at the time..or tried to consolidate them into affordable amounts, but I was really struggling to afford to do anything about it so just ignored them. Clearly not the best choice.

    I have moved house about once a year on average for the last 10 years, and I'm not on the electoral role either. So although I still receive letters through the post to this day from various debt collection agencies, they never follow up on any of their threats. I assume this is because either;

    a) They are not entirely sure where I am currently living, and don't want to waste time, money, and resources trying to find out. Or..

    b) The debts are no longer enforceable, so they are just sending out letters and 'trying their luck'.

    As far as I am aware, debts are no longer enforceable after 6 years, as long as you have not acknowledged the debt. Although I suspect it is not as black & white as that. They are, however, still entitled to try and recover the debt.

    Problem I have is, some of the letters I get sent through do not show the original date of the debt in question. Only one or two do. So for the most part I have no idea how old most of these debts are precisely. And also can't think of a way of finding out without indicting myself so to speak. This does complicate the process somewhat.

    Either way, whether they are enforceable or not, I want to get this sorted out in the way most beneficial to my future credit potential. I am 35 now, and will be looking to get a mortgage at some point in the future.

    Here are some of the problems this situation causes me currently;

    1. I cannot check my credit report. Otherwise that tells all these debt collection agencies exactly where I am, and they will all chase me at once..which I am ill prepared for. It's like the eye of Sauron..if that makes sense to anybody..
    2. I cannot apply for credit, for the same reasons.
    3. I cannot register to vote.
    4. I cannot rent a property through an agency, as my credit rating is so poor.
    5. I cannot currently rebuild my credit score.
    6. I get offensive messages from previous people I used to live with, saying they are receiving letters through..which is quite stressful.

    Plus more. Needless to say, this is not a fun place to be..

    One feature that these debt collection agencies offer is, of course, reduced settlements. I had one through recently offering as much as a 70% reduction to satisfy the debt. This is where I need your help though.

    If you satisfy any of these debts at a reduced price, then it will only show on your credit report as 'partially settled'. As far as I'm aware, this avenue closes the debt in question, but does not help you to start rebuilding your credit score. It would remain more or less the same. Or does it in fact help somewhat?

    I just don't know which way to turn right now. The way I see it, these are my options;

    1. Pay each individual debt progressively at the full amount, and rebuild my credit score the ideal way. I cannot afford to do this though..and as soon as I contact the first company, my credit file will be updated, and all the rest will pounce on me at once.
    2. Pay each individual debt progressively at any reduced settlements offered. This poses the same problem as above though, and I won't necessarily end up with a much better credit score at the end of it anyway.
    3. Consolidate all these debts into one, and spend the next 5-10 years paying it all off. Which again, may hinder my credit ability for too long.
    4. See if any of them can be written off under some sort of government scheme.
    5. Keep ignoring them and wait for them all to become unenforceable..and live with the stress in the meantime.
    6. File for bankruptcy. Which I'm not going to do.

    I really need a definitive 'best course of action' here, because I can't figure this out on my own it would appear. The thing I'm concerned about is that I am going to be given conflicting solutions, and end up more bewildered about the whole situation than I am now.

    I guess I could potentially afford to pay £200 a month towards chipping away at these debts..if a monthly plan were the best route to take.

    Anyway, that probably gives enough information for now.

    If anybody has any advice they can offer me as to how to fix this mess, I would be very grateful.

    I have retained many of the letters for reference, and can provide more details if required.

    Thanks in advance, Andy
Page 1
    • middleclassbutpoor
    • By middleclassbutpoor 9th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    middleclassbutpoor
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    Well done for posting..

    Does sound as though you have well and truly had your head stuck in the sand and you are considering pulling it out but scared of the daylight and noise that is going to come with it. It isn't probably half as scary as you imagine it to be but I know that isn't going to make you feel any better.

    Before anyone can help you, you are going to have to face up to the fact that if you don't have all the facts about your debts then you are going to have to go on the radar.

    My advice would be, get registered on the voters roll, get all 3 credit files on yourself and get all the facts you need to start making this right.

    To me you are no longer living in blissful ignorance with your head in the sand.

    If the debts are unenforceable, people on here will help you with that.
    If they are still enforceable, there are also people on here that will help you.

    You need to make the first steps for yourself but have no fear in that whatever happens after that, there will be people on here to help you and you will be able to get this sorted. I can imagine that current heavy weight you have on your shoulders will feel a lot lighter after you decide to make some positive steps.

    Unfortunately you cannot deal with this from the shadows..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    Thanks for the reply. What you say makes perfect sense. I'm just concerned once I do these things, I'll have people knocking on my door pretty soon after.

    I need to get a structured plan of action together initially. Then I'll know exactly what to do at the appropriate time, and know how to deal with certain situations that may arise.

    You're right in what you say though. The only way to get things started is to stop hiding from it. And the things you've mentioned would seem to be the logical first step.

    Thank you.
    • Karonher
    • By Karonher 9th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 1,981 Thanks
    Karonher
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    I would agree with middleclasbutpoor. If you have to pay it seems you are going to, if they are unenforceable you will not have to.

    Only first contact your former housemates and apologise. that way the messages may stop.
    Getting ready for Christmas 2017

    Aiming to make £4,500 online in 2017.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 12:56 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:56 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:56 PM
    Yeah, I did apologise to them..and she was quite understanding about the whole situation once I explained it to her. Problem is, they still receive letters through the post. I asked her to write on the envelopes 'No longer living at this address. Return to sender'.

    Hopefully they stop going to that address soon. It would not be good at all if somebody turned up on their doorstep.

    Until I get some sort of plan together though, that seems to be all I can tell her right now..
    • patman99
    • By patman99 9th Jul 17, 1:31 PM
    • 8,056 Posts
    • 9,466 Thanks
    patman99
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:31 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:31 PM
    You really need to get back 'on the system'. Get registered on the electoral roll and get those credit checks done.

    You could have several CCJs against you that you know nothing about.

    As each creditor contacts you, send them the 'prove it' letter that is mentioned a great deal on here.

    You might find that most/all of your debt is statute barred, so no longer enforcable.
    Never Knowingly Understood.

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    • middleclassbutpoor
    • By middleclassbutpoor 9th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    middleclassbutpoor
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2607247

    Prove it letter above.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 9th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    • 12,176 Posts
    • 11,639 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    Hi,

    Andy, you cant have it both ways, you either keep on ignoring the situation, or you dive in head first and confront it, there is no middle ground here !!

    Any running credit agreement that has not either been paid, acknowledged in writing, or had court action taken against it, will be statute barred after 6 years, also if you settled some or all of these debts partially, that info only stays on your file six years, chances are that time may be up already, in which case it wouldn't show at all.

    The only way to deal with it is to come to the surface, obtain a copy of all three of your credit reports, and take it from there, you say you cant rent as your credit is bad, how do you know this if you have not checked your file ?

    It could be all these accounts have dropped off it by now and you have an excellent (fictitious) credit score.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there, and delete spam.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 2:44 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 17, 2:44 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 17, 2:44 PM
    Well I haven't checked my credit file in 3 or 4 years in fairness. Things may look a little different. Certainly haven't taken out any credit in the last 4 years or so. Except for my phone contract..which has been rolling for years. Maybe that's how they find my new addresses?

    Anyway, what are the names of the three credit file companies? I know of Experian.

    And how much do they all cost? Should I do a trial, or subscribe for a year? Are there any special offers on subscription etc?

    Sorry, really quite clueless about where to start with those..as you might imagine.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 2:56 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Thank you for all your help so far btw everybody. I really do appreciate your support. It seems like an impossible task to tackle on your own, but I'm already feeling more positive about the situation since seeing your replies.

    This has been weighing me down for years now. It's a horrible feeling. But it looks like I might be able to start fixing this now..thanks to your advice.

    It means a lot.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 3:02 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Ok, so I found Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit.

    Are they the correct three for the UK?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 9th Jul 17, 3:19 PM
    • 12,176 Posts
    • 11,639 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Ok, so I found Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit.

    Are they the correct three for the UK?
    Originally posted by Andy222
    Yes, you can access your call-credit file through "noddle" for free.

    Likewise you can access your Equifax file through "clearscore" again for free.

    For Experian you can order a £2 statutory copy off there website, no need to sign up to any deals.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there, and delete spam.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 3:23 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Awesome, thank you!

    Are any of these 'free trials' that you need to cancel before the month ends?

    And what would you recommend..just accessing my credit files once, and printing them off? Or is there a cost-effective way to monitor/access them more readily/regularly?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 9th Jul 17, 3:36 PM
    • 12,176 Posts
    • 11,639 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Awesome, thank you!

    Are any of these 'free trials' that you need to cancel before the month ends?

    And what would you recommend..just accessing my credit files once, and printing them off? Or is there a cost-effective way to monitor/access them more readily/regularly?
    Originally posted by Andy222
    As above, Noddle and Clearscore are free to access whenever you choose, for life.

    There are free trials through Experian, but its just a waste of money to be honest, just order a £2 statutory copy.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there, and delete spam.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 3:55 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Ok, that's great. I will start there.

    I'll post up with my findings once I have the information..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 3:59 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Just very quickly..about to register on Noddle..is it worth putting my actual phone number into the database, or using an old obsolete number for example? Just concerned that as soon as I enter these details, my phone will be ringing off the hook. What would you do?

    Also, I'm registering to be added to the electoral roll..and there is a box to tick;

    "No, I don’t want my name and address on the open register"

    Bearing in mind my situation, do I want my name and address on the open register or not? Will this help or hinder me?
    Last edited by Andy222; 09-07-2017 at 4:31 PM.
    • louby40
    • By louby40 9th Jul 17, 4:32 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 3,062 Thanks
    louby40
    Hi

    I don't think I gave Noddle or Clearscore my phone number. Do you have to?
    Parent loan PAID IN FULL Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #572
    Emergency fund £730/£1000. Christmas savings £400/£600 Car maintenance £0/600
    Kitchen July £12,493 OCT £10,493. 18% paid off
    Barclaycard £300
    Car loan £2890 Mortgage £95,415
    TOTAL DEBT = £109,098
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 9th Jul 17, 4:34 PM
    • 2,220 Posts
    • 14,063 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Good luck with everything Andy. You have taken the hardest step. Please keep posting and let us know how you get on.

    As Martin says there is not a debt which cant be sorted.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £1088/2500 43.52%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 4:35 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Not sure. I'll check again. And is it worth waiting till I have my name added to the electoral roll before I check my credit report, or does it make no difference?
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 4:36 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Yes, you do need to enter a phone number. It will not let me proceed to the next page until I do..
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