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  • FIRST POST
    • DD2580
    • By DD2580 1st Dec 17, 9:32 AM
    • 14Posts
    • 2Thanks
    DD2580
    Debt urgent help
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 17, 9:32 AM
    Debt urgent help 1st Dec 17 at 9:32 AM
    Hi - not really sure what area to post this in, so positing in a few, here goes!

    I need some urgent advice. I have found myself out of a job since end of October. My line of work is secretarial and is on a contract basis, and usually go from job to job, mostly 1 year + contracts so have always been fine. this is the first time I am without a job and have made my last pay, and some small savings to last until now, and now I am running low and worrying that my bills wont get paid and don't know where to start. In the new year things wil be easier to get a contract it generally is this time of year so I don't know if its possible to freeze such things like credit cards. I'm listing my outgoings below.

    1 credit card 0% int - monthly min £45
    1 credit card 0% int - monthly min £ 40
    1 credit card, (BCARD) int I am unsure right now but monthly min is £130
    car insurance - £65
    Mobile phone - £45
    Mobile insurance - £10

    Is it possible to "freeze" your credit cards for a period of time until I get another job?
    I don't know what to do, want to sit and ring them all up today and have some sort of plan to help me over this few months just until mid / end Jan I think. I just want some advice first, scared to ring and say I don't have a job!

    luckily living with parents so not needing to worry about rent etc but they are not in good shape financially either so can't ask for help.


    please help me

    Danni
Page 1
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 1st Dec 17, 9:52 AM
    • 10,904 Posts
    • 12,787 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 9:52 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 9:52 AM
    The first thing to do is to apply for any benefits that you are entitled to.

    If you have been paying class 1 national insurance contributions during the last two years then you are likely to be entitled to contribution based JSA. This is not dependent on savings.

    This, at least would give you some income.

    Also, seriously consider applying for any temporary work - Christmas time is a good time to find it - until you can go back to your usual work.

    if you telephone all your creditors and explain the situation they may allow you a 'breathing period' whilst you find work. Always best to let them know what is happening.
    • sawyer1
    • By sawyer1 1st Dec 17, 10:21 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sawyer1
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:21 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:21 AM
    I'd recommend posting an SOA to allow people to give the best advice.

    stoozing.com/calculator/soa.php

    Format for MSE and post the results here.

    It's important to be honest as it will give people a better understanding of your current situation.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 1st Dec 17, 10:25 AM
    • 11,647 Posts
    • 8,780 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:25 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:25 AM
    Your car insurance is a priority. In your case (jobhunting) the phone is too but you may be able to renegotiate a lower payment if half way through your contract (not my specialist subject)

    Defaults are not registered against credit debts until 3-6 missed payments. These are all non-priority.

    I agree with the above about a CBJSA claim, though I think for single people this is now called New-style JSA. Paid fortnightly in arrears after 7 waiting days at 57.90/73.10 pw depending on your age

    https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/what-type-you-get

    I hate these benefit changes. They are never for the better.
    Last edited by fatbelly; 01-12-2017 at 10:27 AM.
  • National Debtline
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:28 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:28 AM
    Hi Danni


    There's some good advice above. Applying for benefits is a sensible idea, particularly if it takes a little longer to get back into work than expected. It would also help you afford your essential bills, like the car insurance and mobile phone costs. Make sure you have a bank account somewhere that you have no debt, this avoids a creditor being able to dip in and help themselves to money.


    Most creditors will hold action for 30 days when you inform them you are falling into financial difficulties. And if necessary you can ask them to accept no payments and freeze interest until you start receiving an income again (you'll need to explain why you have no income). You can find a hold action letter here https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Hold-action-on-your-account-%28sole-name%29.aspx.


    When you do have an income you'll need to reassess your options, so it's a good idea to get in touch with one of the free debt advice agencies for more information on how to deal with the debts in the longer term. Good luck with the job hunt.


    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
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 1st Dec 17, 10:51 AM
    • 11,647 Posts
    • 8,780 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:51 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:51 AM
    If you don't want to phone the credit cards (and I'd be with you on that) then you could use a National Debtline standard letter

    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Hold-action-on-your-account-%28sole-name%29.aspx

    cross posted with susie. Great minds think alike.
    • GothicStirling
    • By GothicStirling 1st Dec 17, 12:14 PM
    • 985 Posts
    • 725 Thanks
    GothicStirling
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:14 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:14 PM
    Right now, your priority debts are rent/mortgage, heating, council tax. That's the way the Law sees it, everyone else needs to wait. It may be necessary to SORN your car until you have a job offer, until then use public transport or walk. It's a painful lesson people think 'it won't happen to me', but it can happen to any of us, at any time. Good luck job hunting, and when you're back in work, try to save some !!!!-storm emergency fund, the recommended amount is at least 3 months salary.
    • ratrace
    • By ratrace 1st Dec 17, 1:09 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 323 Thanks
    ratrace
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:09 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:09 PM
    Hi danni, the great news is that you have a car this means you may be able to get a job asap, go to the like of dominoes or a chinese takeaway today and ask them if they are taking on drivers, i did this when my hours got cut at work and it wasnt so bad i enjoyed it. you get a wage + tips + a free meal at the end of your shift which is not bad

    its not going to be forever but untill you find a new job hope this helps
    People are caught up in an egotistic artificial rat race to display a false image to society. We want the biggest house, fanciest car, and we don't mind paying the sky high mortgage to put up that show. We sacrifice our biggest assets our health and time, We feel happy when we see people look up to us and see how successful we are”

    Rat Race
    • LJB290
    • By LJB290 1st Dec 17, 2:37 PM
    • 102 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    LJB290
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:37 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:37 PM
    Christmas temp roles will definitely tide you over - whatever industry.
    Temp roles can often lead to contract or permanent and the more people you talk to about work - the more doors open.
    With your organisational skills - you won't be waiting around for long!
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 1st Dec 17, 7:48 PM
    • 2,934 Posts
    • 1,524 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    I'd have never said it before but start applying for jobs you've never really considered - it can sometimes have the reverse effect. It's a bit like waiting for the buses to arrive.

    I've been out of work since Wednesday, had 3 interviews at places I kind of know would never be able to take me on, although today's one got me spirits up and if nothing else it turned out good to meet people from industries you might not have considered but when needs must - anyway couple of hours later someone calls from an October interview offering me a temporary job starting Monday. Could never have predicted that one, so I think there is a lot to be said for occupying yourself with other opportunities to take the mind of things.

    Hope you get your break soon - Like I say things can definitely happen when you apply for jobs that aren't totally 'me' or outside the box. Can you get some recruitment agencies on the case?
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • DD2580
    • By DD2580 1st Dec 17, 7:51 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    DD2580
    thank you all! and thanks Susie - I did call one of my credit cards today one of the lower payment ones, and they reused to freeze or hold the accounts as it is a 0% interest and I will then loose the 0% interest rate. they also refused to lower the minimum spend and instead advised I be handled through the collections department. this made me panic, I cried my eyes out and in the end just asked to leave as is. Made me more distressed about it all.

    One thing I have done, and whether you agree this is a good idea or not is, I've used my overdraft and transferred money to my bills account to cover the direct debits that will come out this month till say mid Jan.

    My question on JSA though (as I have never done it before) is do I then have to be going to Job centres and have to apply for jobs locally? I don't understand it as I contract in London and am set up with agencies looking in London, I just ask as I don't know how it works. If i'm honest, I went all the way to the end of the questionnaire and stopped - what if I do find a job in January when the payments come through? do I then pay back?

    sorry for so many questions and thank you so so much
    • DD2580
    • By DD2580 1st Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    DD2580
    thank you for the advice well done on getting another role!

    yes i have agencies on the case and am bugging them all so much! i am applying left right and centre jobs that are a lot less than what I am on too, just to get something!
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 1st Dec 17, 8:41 PM
    • 11,647 Posts
    • 8,780 Thanks
    fatbelly
    DD I'm not a benefits specialist but after the 7 day waiting period you then get paid your JSA, in arrears. If you get a job, you tell them, and your entitlement stops. You'll then get a final payment.

    It's hassle but it's money paid to help you, so you should claim it.

    Phoning creditors (people you owe money to) is stressful - that's why we suggested writing. If they respond there is a record of what they said. If you phone it gives them an opportunity to harass and threaten you with no record of what they said.

    If you're going to use your overdraft to fund the payments (called robbing Peter to pay Paul) that makes it even more important to take Susie's first bit of advice and get a new bank account and get your benefits paid into that
    • elsien
    • By elsien 1st Dec 17, 8:45 PM
    • 15,435 Posts
    • 38,763 Thanks
    elsien
    With JSA, they want to see that you are genuinely job hunting. They don't care where the jobs are as long as you're getting the applications in, so don't worry about applying just for local jobs.
    You only go to the job centre to sign on every two weeks after the initial jobseekers agreement visits. The only people who have to go to the job centre more often are those where there are concerns they are swinging it. All your job searches can be done online, via agencies etc as long as you're keeping records to show what you're doing,
    Last edited by elsien; 01-12-2017 at 8:48 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • GothicStirling
    • By GothicStirling 1st Dec 17, 9:51 PM
    • 985 Posts
    • 725 Thanks
    GothicStirling
    Worth checking out NHS jobs, they're always looking for clerical staff. Takes a while to get a start date, but I'm sure you could find a stop gap for the time being.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 1st Dec 17, 11:05 PM
    • 4,944 Posts
    • 6,177 Thanks
    theoretica
    You are paying £120 a year to insure your phone? Wouldn't that buy you a workable replacement if you needed one and be money in your pocket if you don't? That is a payment I personally would cancel.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • DD2580
    • By DD2580 2nd Dec 17, 10:01 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    DD2580
    yes £10 a month. Aware of that but you can't just cancel. I have tried and would have to pay outright the remaining amount of insurance which would be around £90 - doesn't really help me - so no I can't cancel.

    i'm a little more concerned about the larger sums than £10 a month but thanks anyway
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 2nd Dec 17, 10:06 AM
    • 11,202 Posts
    • 15,655 Thanks
    Pixie5740

    i'm a little more concerned about the larger sums than £10 a month but thanks anyway
    Originally posted by DD2580
    From little acorns....
    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.
    • DD2580
    • By DD2580 2nd Dec 17, 10:09 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    DD2580
    Fatbelly - thank you for your advice really helpful as always. I have looked at JSA but its changed to Universal credit which now takes 6 weeks to get

    Will apply now and just see what I can do, think its my only option. I've just never done it before and almost feel embarrassed to claim

    thank you
    • NekoZombie
    • By NekoZombie 2nd Dec 17, 12:39 PM
    • 1,616 Posts
    • 1,496 Thanks
    NekoZombie
    Was about to say: if you’re unlucky it will be universal credit which I swear is designed to stop people claiming what they’re entitled to. The process was horrendous and i never got it when needed. In the end I found work and luckily had some emergency savings. No idea what the average person is meant to do waiting five to six weeks for money they’re 100% entitled to. Disgraceful.
    BCSC Member 70
    .
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