Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 11:30 AM
    • 28Posts
    • 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 2
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 9th Jul 17, 5:18 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    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?
    Originally posted by Andy222
    I would always tick "no" for that box, debts or no debts.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and it's forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 5:20 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Ok thanks. I shall tick the box..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 9th Jul 17, 5:36 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Ok then..I am on the electoral roll.

    Step 1 complete..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 12:38 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Have registered with Noddle, and now have access to my Callcredit report.

    Step 2 complete..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 1:21 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Have registered with Clearscore, and now have access to my Equifax report.

    Step 3 complete..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 1:22 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Have applied for my Experian Statutory Credit report. Will need to wait up to seven working days to be able to access this..

    Step 4 complete..
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 11th Jul 17, 1:27 PM
    • 3,811 Posts
    • 15,138 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    If you register to the MSE credit club you can see your experian for free.

    Well done on how much you've achieved so far.

    DFW £733.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £346.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £216.52 + £25 Cash + £45 Amazon
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 11th Jul 17, 1:27 PM
    • 3,811 Posts
    • 15,138 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/creditclub

    DFW £733.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £346.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £216.52 + £25 Cash + £45 Amazon
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 1:38 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Damn it. Already ordered the report. Nevermind, was only £2 I suppose..
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 11th Jul 17, 1:41 PM
    • 3,811 Posts
    • 15,138 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Always worth having the paper one and at least you can check it going forward now via mse credit club.

    DFW £733.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £346.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £216.52 + £25 Cash + £45 Amazon
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 2:04 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Have registered with MSE credit club, and now have access to my Experian report.

    Step 5 complete..
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 2:09 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Ok, here are my findings so far;

    'CALLCREDIT' score via Noddle:
    531

    'EQUIFAX' score via Clearscore:
    375/700

    'EXPERIAN' score via MSE credit club:
    958/999
    (Also awaiting Statutory Credit Report)

    The first two are as I might have expected..

    It would seem, however, that the Experian report is not particularly accurate for one reason or another.

    I initially added only a few addresses..then saw that and thought I'd add as many as I could remember. Going back about 4 years or so. Updated, but still the same. Maybe it will change next month?

    Not sure why the other two have been able to pull up an accurate score based on 4 years of address history, but Experian hasn't.

    Any ideas?
    • MallyGirl
    • By MallyGirl 11th Jul 17, 3:26 PM
    • 1,761 Posts
    • 6,071 Thanks
    MallyGirl
    not all financial institutions report to all 3 agencies. That is why you are recommended to check all 3. It may be that a future application would only use Experian and your chances of acceptance might then be higher but it is best to get in a good position across the board
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 3:28 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Looking at my next steps now. Thinking about a credit card of some sort.

    Is there a section on here regarding which credit card might be best for me?
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 11th Jul 17, 3:28 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Or should I wait a month or two..till my electoral roll information is updated on the system?
    • middleclassbutpoor
    • By middleclassbutpoor 12th Jul 17, 9:48 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    middleclassbutpoor
    Your next steps are to see what debts are on there. Can you see any debts/defaults etc on your files?
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Jul 17, 11:15 PM
    • 3,667 Posts
    • 6,582 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Looking at my next steps now. Thinking about a credit card of some sort.

    Is there a section on here regarding which credit card might be best for me?
    Originally posted by Andy222
    Getting a new credit card without dealing with the fallout from default of old debts seems madness to me.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • kink_bosslady
    • By kink_bosslady 13th Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    kink_bosslady
    If I was you Andy I would try for a company called checkmyfile. I used them as I needed to do a check in regards to work and it was so much clearer than noddle. It had information from all 3 credit reference agencies. I think it was a month free trial so take note of the date you sign up.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 14th Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    • 3,811 Posts
    • 15,138 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    No need to sign up to any free trials.

    You now have free access to all 3 credit files, yes in 3 separate places but not a huge inconvenience is it

    DFW £733.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £346.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £216.52 + £25 Cash + £45 Amazon
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 14th Jul 17, 10:44 AM
    • 3,811 Posts
    • 15,138 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Why do you 'need' a credit card? What's on your report? Is everything as it should be? Are you paying everything you should be? No surprises? Do you have a solid realistic budget?

    DFW £733.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £346.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £216.52 + £25 Cash + £45 Amazon
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,360Posts Today

8,245Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin