how did you end up in debt?



  • thesim
    thesim Posts: 411 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Ended up suffering from Depression a few years back and shopped to try and make myself happy.

    £3,500 later and here I am!
  • Gazing_On_Sunsets
    I feel stupid - I got through Uni with only a £700 overdraft. I had worked all the way through and didn;t even take a student loan. I paid off the overdraft within 2 months and thought I was sorted.

    Then a few years later I went to teacher training college. Got the £6000 bursary and a £4000 loan. Also used a credit card. But that was fine - got a teaching job, nice wage. I bought a house. I got a graduate loan to help pay for the house repairs.

    Then I got ill (crohn's disease) and my job made it worse. I let teaching and could not get any other job. Used my credit card to pay the mortgage and the loans. Ran up a big credit card debt. Got supply teaching and then another job, and took another load to pay off the credit card. All was fine - now with 2 loans and the student loan, of course.

    Then my brother got very ill - I had to drive an hour after work every night to look after him, he was in a poor way, becoming paralysed and trying to kill himself - I swapped jobs to a more flexible one, so I could cope - but the hours they said I'd have did not appear.

    And once again I started using my credit card for the mortgage....

    After 6 months I had to sort it all out. I moved, got a job which by now only just covered my essentials, and I have been plodding away ever since. I keep getting told not to work full time... I do have many part time jobs, though.

    My parents have loaned me £10,000 to pay off my loans - I am now paying them back. Bit by bit. I also owe my grandmother £10,000. But no other loans except the student one, and no credit cards. Never again.

    Yet when I look back I cannot see what I would have done differently... when a family member is ill., you do what is needed, don't you?
  • Zoology_Dragon
    By and large for us it's down to being students for nine years (each). Even with part-time jobs as well as our loans we still couldn't afford the basics so slipped a little more into debt each year. This was then exacerbated by us not being as careful as we should have been. It's surprisingly easy to say "oh we'll just stick it on the credit card" when you're already in debt. We knew we couldn't afford to live without getting into debt so in a way it felt like there was no point even trying. Not true of course and we know that now!

    We're now both working and trying hard to be careful with our money so we can clear the debt quickly. The fun part now is hoping that we stay in employment in a notoriously unstable field. My contract finished in November though I may have just managed to get myself an extra four months on a higher salary. Fingers crossed...
  • t4mof
    t4mof Posts: 246 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    It's surprisingly easy to say "oh we'll just stick it on the credit card" when you're already in debt. We knew we couldn't afford to live without getting into debt so in a way it felt like there was no point even trying. Not true of course and we know that now!

    I can totally relate to that - my OH has said for years "what's another £100??"

    It's only now I've taken control of the finances and he can finally see the debt reducing that he appreciates just what "another £100" actually is!!
    CC Debt at LBM Nov 08 - £25000+ DFD Dec 2012
    Second DFD May 2021
    Starting my MFW journey: Opening Balance: £138,000; July 2019: £135107.33; July 2023 £119450.87
    2024 MFW #45
  • Mrs_Ryan
    Mrs_Ryan Posts: 11,832 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Photogenic
    I've had student debt for years - I was stupid when i was at uni, so stupid in fact that for years I didnt even have a debit card, all I could get were basic cash card accounts which were a pain in the bum :mad: then I managed to get myself a Solo card, then managed to find a bank who would give me a Visa Debit.
    Suddenly I discovered my credit rating seemed to be ok again, then in a short time I got 7 - yes 7 :eek: catalogues, a credit card and a store card both with £500 limits. I was working full time at the time, not earning a great wage, but getting by, then OH went through a massive blip in his (up till then excellent) recovery, and tried to take an overdose, and a short period of time after that I suffered a miscarriage and shortly after was signed off work with work-related stress. After OH's overdose attempt I had to drop to part-time hours as I had to watch him constantly and it meant leaving the house later to make sure he was ok before I went to work. I was living in Leicester and working in Nottingham and was spending half my monthly wages on my train fares :eek:

    I was spending heavily on my catalogues to escape the misery of what was going on in my life - in fact the day after OH tried to take his overdose I am ashamed to say I took my brand new credit card that had arrived a few days previously, got on the first train out of Leicester and went absolutely mad with it - I cleared £450 in about 3 hours :eek: Only 2 things I bought I needed - a mobile as mine had broken the week before and a pair of boots as the ones I had had a massive hole in the sole - the rest was just rubbish!

    I just lived way beyond my means - I would say only a handful of the things I bought from the catalogues were useful to me and I still use - I'm now thankfully in a much better paid job, I have been on my DMP for a year now and I'm starting to see real progress - I do miss my catalogues sometimes as it can be really hard to find nice clothes in my size :( but I've done ok so far.
    *The RK and FF fan club* #Family*Don’t Be Bitter- Glitter!* #LotsOfLove ‘Darling you’re my blood, you have my heartbeat’ Dad 20.02.20
  • ghostmadlittlemiss
    I went to uni and thought I could handle slow stoozing as my parents did it for years with a successful business. I now realise I didn't know my parents as well as I thought I did. They had a guest house with tons of income during the summer and next to none in the winter so any winter spending went on the cc for the following summer. Of course, I was just a kid and all I saw was cc spending being ok.

    I know that sounds like I'm blaming my parents and I really don't mean to, it's entirely my fault. My dad sat me down and did me a budget before I left for uni but I didn't follow it. The overdraft disappeared in no time and this was pre-recession so the bank just kept increasing it. The recession hit and suddenly, I had no more money so turned to the cc. Also, my OH had moved to London and I could actually visit him regularly. So I was over on the train every other weekend, buying meals out when I was there, going shopping. All I have to show for it now is a Friends boxset of all 10 seasons that I've never even opened.

    I had my LBM, the debt went down, I lost my job, it went up. And that's where I am now. Re-sitting my last year at uni, searching for work with spiralling debts. I want to take a PGCE after this year so I'll be a student for a fair bit longer. I just need to get things under control again.
  • Two9A
    Two9A Posts: 274 Forumite
    Sheer idiocy in my case, I'm afraid.

    My cousin and I came to an arrangement, where I'd buy his old place to give him the deposit for his new house. Fine, no problem; buy a house. Wage coming in, mortgage getting paid.

    Then the house next to my sister's place goes on sale, and the family insist on buying it. Ok, no problem; buy another house. Wage coming in, mortgage... yeah, there's not enough there.

    Then my car blows up on the M6, and I decide (like a fool) to buy a brand-new shiny box of a car. It's a nice car, but at 28% APR? :rotfl:

    That was the LBM, right there. Too late to do anything about the car loan, except suck it up and get a loan from a friend (at 8%) for the entire amount.

    Juggling balance transfers, all the while having a student loan sitting there accruing interest... It's a fun life, the life of a DFW.
    Debts (26.3% remaining) - CC/BARC: [strike]2058[/strike] 100.00 @0%; CC/MBNA: [strike]1877.75[/strike] 0.00; Loan/SLC: [strike]10000[/strike] 7901.84 @1.5%; Loan/Per: [strike]1500[/strike] 0.00; Loan/HX: [strike]15000[/strike] 0.00
    Mortgages (94.7% remaining) -
    NW: [strike]92516.94[/strike] 87565.40 @3.19%; HBOS: [strike]65599.57[/strike] 59106.45 @4%, [strike]69251.57[/strike] 68589.97 @3.49%
    Total amount of fail: Dangerous (223263.66)
  • fozmcfc
    fozmcfc Posts: 3,098 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker PPI Party Pooper Debt-free and Proud!
    Gambling mainly on fruit machines, very heavily from the age of 18 upto the age of 38 (I'm 40 in a couple of weeks).

    90% of my spare money for the month was gambled away until January 2009, when I decided enough was enough.

    Two things have helped me greatly.

    1/ Luckily I still have a good credit history as I have never defaulted and haven't failed to pay the minimum on any debt, except for a couple of days nearly 6 years ago on one credit card (didn't send payment quick enough). This has enabled me to get good credit card deals to get rid of a large portion of my debt.

    2/ I have always had a job, reasonably decent wage and I could earn a couple of hundered extra in overtime every month if I needed to.

    Now I'm finally on the road to saving and being debt free. Come the end of September I will have enough money to pay everything off I owe and still have some saved.

    I do still gamble, don't think I will ever fully quit, but for the past 18 months, it has been nearer to 5% of my spare money than 90%
  • AlwaysWorking
    I moved in with my first serious boyfriend...he was in a lot of debt and drank heavily. I used my wages to help pay his mortgage/bills and my credit cards for food, petrol etc. I feel stupid even typing this...! :o

    Anyway, we sold his house (paying off his debt) and bought another one. There wasn't enough money from the sale to pay off the credit cards but he promised he would help...

    After 6 months I discovered he had been cheating with numerous other women and he left. Because house prices had been rising so quickly in Northern Ireland I had to remortgage and give him £32,500...and his car, the loan for which was in my name. :(

    So at the end of it he left debt free, with a nice car and a cheque for £32,500! I was left with a huge mortgage, a car loan for his car, thousands on credit cards and a house that needed renovating...which became my getting-over-him project. And resulted in more debt as I got a kitchen loan etc etc before being made redundant!!! :(

    I'm now working again and chipping away at the debt, hoping to be debt free by Christmas 2011!

    Good luck everyone, we'll get there!!!
    "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." Marilyn Monroe
  • Gav1n
    Gav1n Posts: 1 Newbie
    I achieved my £30K of unsecured debt by a few (naive) mis-judgements of people and situations.

    1.Split up with my ex 10 years ago and rather than make a sensible financial decision, gave her 100% of the house for a small fee. (Felt sorry for her!). Not been able to get back on the ladder since, so 10 years of rent to private landlords at what cost? :(

    2. I joined a business as a freelance trainer with the promise of a directorship and a good income. 8 years later, the income is less than half and the directorship non-existent. Sadly, I enjoy working with the clients and like a mug have stuck with the promises. The net effect on my debts is to increase them year on year, paying for essentials (like income tax and bills!) via credit cards. :mad:

    3. Desperate for an life improvement, I invested a chunk of money (my final credit card, taking it up to it's limit) into a 'business opportunity' only to find it was a scam... although, as it's not officially recognised as a scam, it's impossible to do anything about it. :o

    Based on the above scenarios, would you believe I used to be a member of Mensa, am in my late 40's and have a family?! :rotfl:

    It's sometimes incredibly easy to trust people and gradually build debts to a ridiculous level.

    Time for a change... career-change and debt-free by the start of the Olympics!
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