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  • FIRST POST
    • StillStudenting
    • By StillStudenting 26th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
    • 10Posts
    • 27Thanks
    StillStudenting
    Finally admitting I'm in debt :(
    • #1
    • 26th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
    Finally admitting I'm in debt :( 26th Sep 17 at 12:56 PM
    Hi!
    So I've joined this site as I need help! 12 months of following a Facebook page about '3 lettering' debt and I'm none the wiser and still drowning in debt!

    Background: I became a mature student 2011 and opened a student bank account.I already had a Very and Next account that I used for kids clothes and was clearing them every couple of months.
    If at any point you're wondering how i was given so much credit, despite being a housewife then student we had a 'household income' of over £60,000 (however my husband soon started keeping all his income to his self, read on)

    I was given a Credit Card in 2012 with a £3000 limit and used some of it to close my Very account. Soon began using it for essentials when I had no money, husband decided he didn't agree with me leaving the children to study so refused to share income from this point onwards (petrol, kids clothes etc). Limit increased to £6000 so I also used it to buy a cheap car to drive to uni as I wasn't allowed to drive family car in case Husband needed it (He was SE but main office at home)

    I graduated with a First and won a monetary award and used it to slightly dent my CC. Won a place to study a Ph.D, Fees paid but no maintenance.

    I was then given a £2000 overdraft in 2014 when i became a Post-grad student and with no access to household income or student grants it soon went.

    Living in an owned outright home I was managing paying minimum on the card and ignored the overdraft. Then I got a text in 2016 saying my limit was increased to £9000 and I stupidly started spending (day to day needs, paid my huge private dentist bill etc.)

    This whole time I wasn't receiving any benefits remember as household income was too big.

    Then my circumstances changed. I had to move out because of DV and all of a sudden I had rent to pay and two children to pay for ( no claim to house after fleeing DV as it was owned outright by Husband not me).

    So here I am trying to rid myself of this built up debt -
    1. Barclaycard - £8,500
    2. Next - £3000
    3. Overdraft - £1300
    4. Car Finance - £6000 outstanding (£173 pm)

    Income -
    1. £530 a month from assistant job in University (still writing Ph.D so can't apply for FT job)
    2. £189 - a week Tax Credits
    3. £135 - a month CHB
    I get NO maintenance as Ex Husband is SE and has been giving himself no income since February (when I left). Maintenance service said there was nothing they could do despite having proof he's just paid cash for a new (luxury) car.

    Currently I have £500 in the bank :(

    Where do I start?
Page 2
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 27th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
    • 8,232 Posts
    • 43,628 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Your first step needs to be to open a basic bank account with a provider not linked to anywhere you have debt - this is vital as you MUST make sure your income is protected from being set off against debt. It's urgent that you do this ASAP - it's one for the "Do right now" list.

    Keep posting on here - people will help and it will give you some support.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£702.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • StillStudenting
    • By StillStudenting 27th Sep 17, 12:28 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    StillStudenting
    You basically have two choices once you have to move into rented accommodation and the best one is dependent on what the soa shows.

    You can either abandon the PhD depending on how far along you are and how close to finishing. My daughter worked full time and did a PhD part time so is that an option? It took her longer than the 3 years she received fees and bursary so while she received the bursary she did not work but as she had not completed it by the end of the third year and a job as research assistant came up she accepted that but it did slow progress on PhD. It is a luxury being able to study post grad if you have family to support so if you are no where near completing you might have to stop and work full time.

    Alternatively you could look at a DMP either through stepchange or self managed. That will normally stop the interest making the debt higher but it does impact on your credit rating but probably would not stop you getting a job in the police or courts.

    Do not do a consolidation loan. It never works and you need to get out of this mentality where you use credit when you cannot afford something. That car must have been quite expensive and obviously too much for your budget. Do you really need a car?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    I have a couple months left on the Ph.D - would be silly for me to abandon.
    I have considered a DMP but heard stories about dodgy companies.

    The car was £7800 - interest from HP made it around £10000! - remaining balance is £6000 I bought it when I was still living in the family home and enough spare cash.

    This might be embarrassing to admit and make me sound stupid but they need to teach stuff like this in schools! I swear I didn't even know that companies credit check you, didn't even know what a credit check was! Applying was just so easy over the internet All i can say is I was very naive about Credit (as you can see) and have wised up a lot in the last year (and I'm 30)
    • StillStudenting
    • By StillStudenting 27th Sep 17, 12:33 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    StillStudenting
    I don't know what the Ph.D. is in, but is it likely to lead to a job in the police or Courts Service? I agree there are roles where bankruptcy will be a problem (to put it mildly...), but how many of them also require a Ph.D.?!?

    Whilst it's going to be hard when you're close to finishing, but it might come down to being a decision between the debt or the doctorate, and if I'm being honest, the debt is the greater priority. A Ph.D. is an expensive luxury which you probably can't afford at this stage. I'd be speaking to the university to see if you can postpone finishing it up, or go part time.

    Your debt isn't that bad, but you simply don't earn enough - a full time job for a year or two would make a serious dent in the debt, and you ought to be able to come back to the doctorate when you're in a position to better afford it.
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    Social Policy/Criminology - very limited job opportunities where I live (in the country) I had my heart set on academia but the University is cutting jobs like there's no tomorrow so I have to keep my options open - one of which is a research post and where I live you either have Government or Police/Courts for research jobs. Of course these posts don't need a doctorate but I'm so close to finishing I can't drop out!
    • StillStudenting
    • By StillStudenting 27th Sep 17, 12:35 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    StillStudenting
    I disagree with the comments about stopping the PhD and getting a job. If the OP was just about to start the PhD I'd say yes but as she became a postgraduate student in 2014 she must be very close to finishing. If it were me I would plough ahead and get my PhD and start a DMP to keep the wolves from the door for the time being.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Thanks! I have 6 weeks left 'officially' but with polishing the work it will take me up to Christmas so I'm not giving up now!
    • LauraB89
    • By LauraB89 27th Sep 17, 12:45 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 376 Thanks
    LauraB89
    Keep at it, you can do it!

    There is so much practical advise on here, once you get your SOA up I am sure there will be ways of reducing your outgoings that you hadn't realised.

    The main thing to focus on;

    - You are safe
    - Your children are safe
    - You will soon have your PHD!
    - With some focus and time, you will get rid of your debts

    Just got to "keep swimming" xxx
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 27th Sep 17, 1:18 PM
    • 8,232 Posts
    • 43,628 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Martin has been campaigning for personal financial education to be taught in schools - and he's right, it is needed. Too many people currently learning about it the hard way - and that is a problem that more education on the subject can help to solve, for sure!

    Bearing in mind the time of year it's a great time to pick up extra work at the moment and it seems a shame to lose those opportunities - are you able to squeeze the PhD stuff into less time - as in is it possible to manage the time you put to it better to free up time to take on additional (earning) work?

    The car - can you sell it and buy a cheap (1k) runaround which will get you from A-B but also let you hammer some of the outstanding finance down?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£702.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 27th Sep 17, 2:07 PM
    • 3,057 Posts
    • 2,140 Thanks
    AndyPix
    Im sorry i dont have any advice to offer but i will say


    Wow i admire your persiverence - a phd is some achievement, even more so in your circumstances ..
    I predict a bright future for you


    Your ex really should be ashamed of himself . Blokes like that give the rest of us a bad name
    (How could you ignore your own child )
    Running with scissors since 1978
  • National Debtline
    I have debt with both banks Overdraft with Santander and CC with Barclay.
    My overdraft was £2000 in the red in August - I have got it down to £1300 by now and hopefully by the end of October it will be £500 (I've been doing extra lecturing work and the payment will be going on clearing the overdraft)

    Plan so far is clear Santander Overdraft - move all money, direct debits to Santander Current Account then tackle the Next and Barclaycard - I have around £700 spare each month while living with grandparents and have two more months living with them.

    Bottom reply advising to defer my Ph.D - I'm almost done I can't defer now . Spoke to head of school who is trying to give me extra work

    Had advice today from student money adviser - same lines as writing to creditors asking to freeze interest for a bit so trying that ! hopefully next time i'm back on here I will be in less of a mess!


    Thanks
    Originally posted by StillStudenting

    Hi again StillStudenting


    It's really important you're in control of your income, put it into a new bank account (somewhere that you have no debts) and none of your creditors will be able to touch it.


    There's been some mention of you getting rid of your car. If it's a hire purchase agreement you will have the option to terminate it and had the car back. You will be held liable for 50% of the original agreement minus the payments you've already made. You can find more information on this here https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/hire-purchase-debt/hire-purchase-and-conditional-sale.aspx.


    You have a reasonable surplus at the moment but I'm guessing that's going to drop when you move into your own property. Reducing payments and freezing interest sounds a good place to start. Once your in your new place you can update your SOA and see what it shows you have available for your debts. Good luck completing your PHD.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 27th Sep 17, 4:43 PM
    • 2,227 Posts
    • 3,153 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    Social Policy/Criminology - very limited job opportunities where I live (in the country) I had my heart set on academia but the University is cutting jobs like there's no tomorrow so I have to keep my options open - one of which is a research post and where I live you either have Government or Police/Courts for research jobs. Of course these posts don't need a doctorate but I'm so close to finishing I can't drop out!
    Originally posted by StillStudenting
    The problem is, you can't really afford to continue either.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 27th Sep 17, 7:07 PM
    • 2,301 Posts
    • 11,194 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    You can finish your PHD if you buy time by reducing your debt payments temporarily. My DH and I paid token payments for 2 years, so I'm sure you could arrange to do it for a few months

    You are obviously very committed to your studies and it would be a waste to stop now. Although a PHD may not be essential for your future work, it may still serve to give you an edge over other applicants.

    Once you get a full time job you will be able to manage your commitments. I admire you very much for surviving such an awful situation with your ex, for continuing with your studies, for being the responsible carer for your child and for continuing with working part time .

    You're a survivor and you WILL get through this.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • La escocesa
    • By La escocesa 27th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    • 2,930 Posts
    • 18,536 Thanks
    La escocesa
    Firstly, how on earth did you get told you had no claim to anything on the house if you were married and had children together? You need to seek proper legal advice on that one for definite - the fact that it was owned by him doesn't necessarily make a difference.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Yes, I agree with this. I have the mortgage on our house (because OH was self employed when we bought it, had no proof of income and it made the application process more straightforward) but our solicitor made it very clear to us that as we are married, I was deemed to be buying it as a 'family home' etc and so OH would still have claim to it. I believe this is the case regardless of whether it's mortgaged or owned outright. We don't have any children so I'm pretty sure with children in the mix it gives you an even stronger case that it was a family home that you have rights over.

    Sorry - I had to sign away rights to this house 6 years ago - We lived in our first house for 3 years then when ExH grandmother died her home went to her daughter (my Ex MIL) who then was pressured into giving it to ExH as he wanted us to have a 'big family home'. Worried about their family assets Ex MIL instructed her solicitor to produce a document which I had to sign to say I had no claim on the house.
    Originally posted by StillStudenting
    Sorry, just saw this... perhaps this would supersede the above. Have you taken advice on it though or just going on what you remember about the document you signed? I would still add it to the list of questions to ask about just in case there is another avenue...
    Last edited by La escocesa; 27-09-2017 at 8:11 PM.
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 28th Sep 17, 1:46 AM
    • 490 Posts
    • 877 Thanks
    tlc678910
    Hi, I think you desperately need legal advice to lay claim to a share of the house as part of a divorce and financial settlement (despite the document you signed).

    I think it is dubious whether British courts respect pre-nuptial agreements and what you signed might fall into this area.

    You are being forced into this challenge by your ex's refusal to support his family so I know what I would choose to do as a judge (if they are able to over-rule the document.) When you signed the document you didn't know he would leave you without means of support and it was signed assuming there would be child maintenance in this circumstance.

    Perhaps you could find a reputable local solicitor who will offer a free half hour and if they think your case is strong will offer payment on a successful outcome. You can but try and what have you got to lose.

    A financial settlement will also protect your assets from him in the case that you earn well or inherit in the future.
    Good luck
    Tlc
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 28th Sep 17, 9:10 AM
    • 2,227 Posts
    • 3,153 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    Thanks! I have 6 weeks left 'officially' but with polishing the work it will take me up to Christmas so I'm not giving up now!
    Originally posted by StillStudenting
    Speaking of Christmas, how will you pay for that?
    • leslieknope
    • By leslieknope 28th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    • 314 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    leslieknope
    if you look at the debt sections of this website, they refer you to charities such as stepchange who will help you with a DMP without charging you a fee. they're not all bad!
    CCCC #33: £42/£240
    DFW: £4355/£4405
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 28th Sep 17, 1:00 PM
    • 11,202 Posts
    • 15,655 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I have considered a DMP but heard stories about dodgy companies.
    Originally posted by StillStudenting
    You don't ever use a company to set up a DMP. You either use a debt charity such as National Debtline or you self manage which is sort of what you're doing already by writing to your creditors and asking them to freeze the interest.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • StillStudenting
    • By StillStudenting 3rd Oct 17, 2:46 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    StillStudenting
    Speaking of Christmas, how will you pay for that?
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    My children are 10 and 8 - they don't believe in the whole Santa thing although I do tell them if they say they don't believe they don't get any presents (my mum did this until I was late teens!) I usually spend £300 on their presents (in total, not each!) that money usually comes from money I'm given by family. Their paternal grandparents usually buy one thing, my parents by heaps. they won't miss out
    • StillStudenting
    • By StillStudenting 3rd Oct 17, 2:52 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    StillStudenting
    *Update - I have paid my overdraft! All money is in that account and DD transferred - I have no debt with Santander so money is safe!

    I now have a defunct Barclays current account with the barclaycard debt attached

    Next step is hammering the Next account, that has the highest interest - currently at £2800 - I've taken my head out of the sand and opened nearly two years worth of letters, calculated since Nov 2015 I've paid £926.09 of interest to NEXT!!! Imagine having that back (not to mention the rest since I've actually had the account)

    staying at minimum payments on barclaycard for now.

    Car can't really go as I have around 6k left (on a 8k car, interest from Hp made it a 10k car) and had it valued at 5k

    Thanks for advice!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd Oct 17, 3:25 PM
    • 8,232 Posts
    • 43,628 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Wow to that interest - that's a lot of pairs of jeans, even at Next's prices! well done for extracting head from sand as well - scary though it is I bet knowing the full picture helps!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£702.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Smevchenko
    • By Smevchenko 3rd Oct 17, 3:57 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Smevchenko
    This might be embarrassing to admit and make me sound stupid but they need to teach stuff like this in schools! I swear I didn't even know that companies credit check you, didn't even know what a credit check was! Applying was just so easy over the internet All i can say is I was very naive about Credit (as you can see) and have wised up a lot in the last year (and I'm 30)
    Originally posted by StillStudenting
    100% agree on this...... some of the stuff in school is very important, other stuff not so much. When you are young and being offered credit left, right and centre, it is far too easy to get yourself in bother without knowing how it will affect you in later life. When I first started racking up debt, I had no idea what a credit file was, or how lenders viewed it. I have wasted countless money paying interest and rent, when a mortgage 10 years ago would have set me up much better for later life.
    I don't absolve myself of blame where this is concerned, but financial lessons at 16/17 might have helped me make better decisions in the past.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 3rd Oct 17, 6:03 PM
    • 2,227 Posts
    • 3,153 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    My children are 10 and 8 - they don't believe in the whole Santa thing although I do tell them if they say they don't believe they don't get any presents (my mum did this until I was late teens!) I usually spend £300 on their presents (in total, not each!) that money usually comes from money I'm given by family. Their paternal grandparents usually buy one thing, my parents by heaps. they won't miss out
    Originally posted by StillStudenting
    Very good. But no Christmas meals out with work colleagues, catch ups with friends etc? - 'tis the season to be merry after all. No extra spending on nice food or booze for the day itself? No taxis on New Year's Eve because you've had a drink so can't drive? Christmas spending doesn't begin and end at presents unfortunately....

    Don't forget also that most places bring forward pay day in December - usually so that it's before 25th. Given January's a long month anyway, even people in full time employment can be going the best part of 6 weeks between pay days, and a rather large amount of spending in between!
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