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Dont Know where to begin

Its taken me a long time to get to the stage where I know I need to do something about my situation.
I know its all my own fault and I dont want to give excuses but I feel a bit of background knowledge kind of justifies my situation.
About 3 years ago I came out of a 7 years domestic abuse relationship. It wasn't so much violent but it was controlling, psychological and financial. My ex was a bankrupt so any borrowing was done through my name and as he was self employed builder you can imagine the winter months were usually very tight.
Anyway I stupidly let him be a named person on my bank account and credit card and I also took out a van loan for him when his van broke and he needed a new one. Anyway. When I finally had the sense to escape from the relationship and before I had a chance to sort out the finances I realised he had defaulted on the van loan and overdraft and gone up to the credit limit on my credit card.
For a couple of years I tried and struggled to pay these things off not explaining my situation to the financial providers.
I gradually sunk into a state of depression and just didnt feel like doing anything and took saviour in internet shopping so now have catalogue debts on top of this.
Anyway not to go on an on, you get the picture. I have finanly managed to get myself in better place in my life. I have a great job (al be it that it doesnt pay fantastic money) I have great friends and family and the start of a new relationship with a great bloke.
I need to get my finances all sorted and dont know where to start.
I have 3 credit cards on their limits, 3 catalogues (not up to their limits thankfully) an over draft upto its limit a defaulted van loan which I have started paying back and an overdraft from an old account which I haven't heard from the bank in several years and not paying anything back. In total my outstanding debt is about £13000.
I know that if I could get this all in one monthly payment it would in effect reduce my montly out goings as the interest would be less and I would be better off but I dont want to start applying for loans as this would go against my already shocking credit rating and I would just get rejection after rejection.
Wondering if anyone else has had the same sort of situation and found a solution.
I just want to regain control again and start rectifiying the situation.

Replies

  • ceeforcatceeforcat Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Not my field madam, but what I can say is that, by the end of the day you will be feeling a lot better as a result of the tremendous help you WILL be getting from the amazing people on here.
  • Thanks - I hope so - already feeling more positive about the situation since recognising I need to do something.
  • edited 31 January 2011 at 4:15PM
    TixyTixy Forumite
    31.5K Posts
    edited 31 January 2011 at 4:15PM
    Hi and welcome.
    You have come to the right place. Well done for the improvements you have made and in finding a good bloke this time.
    One to the finances -you are right that its unlikely you will get a consolidation loan.
    To start you on a new path the best piece of advice will be to work out a statement of affairs (income & expenditure) this will help you see the full pictue and see if you can manage the repayments as they are now (after accounting for all costs, even those that don't happen every month). We use this calculator http://www.makesenseofcards.com/soacalc.html.

    If you can afford monthly payments then the snowball calculator will be a great next step, helping you work out exactly how much to pay to each creditor each month.
    If it shows you cannot afford the current minimums (without reusing debt) then you could consider contacing one of the debt advice charities for some advice, and possibly consider a debt management plan. See this link IMPORTANT - Where to seek professional impartial advice about your debts.

    If you are feeling brave then post your statement of affairs on here (instructions on the calculator choose format for MSE) and people may be able to suggest areas you can save money or reduce outgoings so that you can manage your debt repayments more easily.

    Welcome on board and good luck. This post by Trev is also be worth a read -The Big Guide to Becoming Debt Free
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • Hi there

    Well done for posting, it is the first step. I can't add anything other that what Tixy above has suggested at this stage, but it is amazing what you can save when you check on how much you are paying for things, just by keeping a spending diary, weekly meal planning and downshifting whilst shopping (ie changing from tesco finest to tesco own brand) I have managed to save about £250 per month, all to put towards my debts. Posting your statement of affairs seems daunting but you will be inundated with some very helpful and practical advice.

    You sound like you have been through the mill over the last couple of years, but glad that things are now on the up for you.

    Keep posting and asking anything you need to, nothing is a daft question on here.

    Best wishes Dolly x ;)
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