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    • 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 3
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 15th Jul 17, 3:20 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Hi, sorry for the late reply..

    OK, I have looked at all 3 reports now..and there are still several outstanding debts (defaults). Though nowhere near as bad as I had imagined.

    What is my next step? Should I wait for correspondence from the debt collection agencies to come through the post and then send 'prove it' letters to them? Or should I just send the letters immediately? I am guessing I should get everything still relevant come through to my current address quite quickly now I have updated my details with the 3 credit report companies, as well as getting registered on the electoral roll.
    • patman99
    • By patman99 15th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    • 7,960 Posts
    • 9,392 Thanks
    patman99
    You have checked for outstanding debts and discovered that you have a few.

    Next step is to work out when you last paid any of them. If it is over 6 years ago, send each creditor the prove it letter as mentioned earlier on.

    As for getting a credit card. Isn't this what got you in the mess in the first place?.

    Forget all about a credit card and work on running a proper budget.
    Never Knowingly Understood.

    Member #1 of £1,000 challenge - £244/ £1000 (that's 24.4%)

    3-6 month EF £240.61/£3600 (that's 4 days worth)

    Do you/your spouse earn less than £197 p/w ?. Fill-in Form R85 and get your Bank interest Tax free.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 15th Jul 17, 6:48 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    I still have several which are within the six year period. A couple which are around four years old, and one which is 5 1/2 years old.

    Is it not the case that any which are over 6 years old would not show on my report anyway? Or does it take longer for them to disappear?

    Also, should I not send 'prove it' letters for debts that are less than 6 years old?
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 15th Jul 17, 7:07 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Regarding the credit card situation..the Clearscore site has a section 'recommended offers for you', based on your score.

    On the day I asked whether I should apply for one on this thread, nobody replied. I was all fired up to start rebuilding my credit score and fixing my situation, so ended up using their 'soft search' eligibility check. It showed I had a reasonably high chance of being accepted for a popular Virgin 'all round' credit card. So I jumped in and applied. Perhaps I should have been more patient. I just wanted to get the ball rolling that's all.

    Anyway, much to my surprise, a day later I received an email saying I have been accepted. And my credit limit will be £2600.

    Now I know this may go against some people's ideals as to the best course of action here..but it's happened now..and with your guidance, I could you this to my advantage I'm sure.

    Looking at the defaults I have listed across my 3 reports, I'm guessing the total for everything is going to be somewhere between £1k-£1.5k. Initially I anticipated it being more, but since I last checked my report 4 years ago a rather large debt from around 14 years ago no longer appears anywhere. So that makes the whole ordeal a LOT more manageable.

    So what I will do is write down exactly how many debts I have listed, what dates apply, and the exact figures for each. Then I will post the information on this thread and maybe somebody can help me decide how to proceed from there.

    I will need a day or two to sit down and make sure I have everything worked out perfectly though..
    • kink_bosslady
    • By kink_bosslady 15th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    kink_bosslady
    Hey Andy!

    Just to clarify for you sweetie you are looking for the notice of default dates. It will be:
    6 years from that date that the default will stay on your credit file

    The other thing to remember is:
    This is when the clock starts for them to take legal action... HOWEVER if any payments or acknowledgement of debt have been made during that time then the clock resets again.

    The credit card... does it have 0% offer on it? Also as well be careful with credit cards and debt collection agencies they catch wind you using it to clear debt off you might struggle. Since the regulations came in in regards to debt collection they are a lot more cautious with people using more potential debt to get rid of debt if that makes sense?
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 15th Jul 17, 10:14 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Hey, thanks for that. Not sure if it's 0% tbh. I just looked at how many positive reviews it had, and chose it on that basis. Classed as a good 'all round' credit card..whatever that means.

    Wasn't going to use it to clear the debts..was thinking more about selling my car. But hypothetically, what would be the issue with that exactly? Does it go against your credit rating using credit cards to clear pre existing debts?
    • middleclassbutpoor
    • By middleclassbutpoor 16th Jul 17, 5:16 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    middleclassbutpoor
    Andy, please take this in the way it is meant.

    If you can't tell us whether your card has any 0% and you are happy with the card because it had good reviews, I don't think you are ready for a credit card yet. You should spend time now dealing with the old debt and getting yourself into a position where you are not waiting for a knock on the door.

    You can always close the card back down by calling virgin saying that you have changed your mind.
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 16th Jul 17, 6:13 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    This is the credit card I have got:

    https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/pre-apply/?agg=LOV&product=all-round-card&utm_campaign=creditcards&dclid=CIeS3YmmjtUCFY ioUQodMpQJUg&utm_medium=aggregators&source=LOV-ALR-NA-NA-02001&utm_content=listings&utm_source=knowyourmone y
    • uphillstruggler
    • By uphillstruggler 17th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 512 Thanks
    uphillstruggler
    Hi Andy,

    Pleased to hear you are making headway with your debt. I've been there - it's so hard to get your head out of the sand.

    Please don't take offence at this but I'm going to be blatantly honest. Only because I've been there and when I was up to my eyeballs in debt I make mistakes and I wish someone had been honest and straight down the line with me.

    First off, forget the credit report right now. It really doesn't matter. When you get credit lenders will look at your borrowing and your money coming in and make their own choice based on their own criteria, not your "score". From what you say, your report is likely to have gaps and inconsistencies. It also takes a while for changes to register. I've logged on to agency sites before and leapt for joy at my score, only to find defaults and accounts were not linked. When you change addresses or add old addresses it often takes a while for your accounts to link up and show.

    Do what middleclassbutpoor says and close the Virgin account. Having another line of credit likely won't help in any respect. It will bring your "score" down. You need to get serious about paying your existing debts off. It surprises me that you got credit when you have defaults - are they listed with credit agencies as defaults? Have they been defaulted for over 6 years?

    I found the snowballing calculator really helpful for organising repayments. It works on the principle of paying the debt with the highest rate of interest off first. Could be worth a look.

    Please post an SOA if you can - that usually sparks off really good ideas for moneysaving from the folks on here and certainly helped me loads.

    I found StepChange really supportive and non-judgemental.

    My only regret in my situation is struggling too hard to keep up repayments and nearly driving myself into the ground when I should have fessed up much much earlier to CC companies and banks and organised a much more affordable plan for repayment.

    Well done for facing up to what is a very tough situation.

    Good luck,
    US
    Finally taking control
    Emergencies account: £150/500 CC (17/07/17): £763.42
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 17th Jul 17, 12:53 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    What's an SOA?
    • uphillstruggler
    • By uphillstruggler 17th Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 512 Thanks
    uphillstruggler
    Hi Andy,

    It's a statement of affairs - you can find a template on the site under the Debt Free Wannabe Sticky in the forum list. It shouldn't take too long but you can fill out your expenditure and your income. It's a useful tool.

    US
    Finally taking control
    Emergencies account: £150/500 CC (17/07/17): £763.42
    • Andy222
    • By Andy222 17th Jul 17, 1:16 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Andy222
    Ok, I'll have a look for that and post up in due course. Thanks.
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