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Struggling with debt? Ask a debt adviser a question

edited 24 July 2018 at 1:41PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
1.3K replies 268.7K views
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  • Hi Tia

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

    You’ve clearly put a lot of thought and effort into dealing with your debts. Reducing your living costs is a good way to free up money to pay towards your debts, but don’t feel pressured to pay back more than you can afford.

    Opening a basic bank account with a bank you don’t owe any money to would help you to budget and put you back in control of your income. Your current bank can still add charges, but you’ll be able to start making payments to clear the debt.

    MSE has more information about balance transfer credit cards, but this option really does depend on financial situation and credit file. I’d say it’s only worth considering if you’re able to manage your household bills and living costs and it’s just the interest and charges that are causing an issue.

    Debt consolidation is just one way to deal with debts and isn’t something I wouldn’t normally recommend because further borrowing usually involves higher repayments and can make a difficult situation worse.

    Our Debt Remedy tool can help you create a budget and recommend other debt solutions that you may not have considered before. It’s free to use and you can access the tool here.

    I hope this helps,

    Linsi

    mrsnju wrote: »
    Hi. I'm completely new to posting on forums, so I hope I'm getting this right.
    I would say I reasonably money savy .... Or not after writing this. I look after the money in our house. My husband is aware of our status but prefers to let me handle things. We are in debt and I don't like it. We had some building work done last year, took a further advance on the mortgage to do it, it wasn't enough, no where near in fact. We took a further £13k on a low rate loan over 10 yrs. further to that we have 3 credit cards. Lloyds with £6800 of a £8300 limit.
    Virgin with £4800/£5000 and mbna £3800/£4300. All of the cards are 0% and finish over a 6m period in 2018. We have DD in place for each card. £100,£100 and £50 respectively. I want to get as much of the cards cleared as possible before were due to remortgage 04/18. I'm hoping we will have a 60% ltv. So it's all in hand, I have a vague goal. But the main bone of contention is my overdraft which I'm always right up to. It's £1370, I get paid £1100 each month and I'm paying £40/50 pm in charges for the privilege. I'd much rather pay that money into clearing it.
    But can't see a way forward - none of the cc offer a money transfer and I have no other idea.
    My husband has very little surplus cash - he pays all the house hold bills. I have about £600 a month after my commitments - however that £600 has to cover food for the month for 4, diesel and any other expenses, like school trips, birthday party's, new school uniform etc.
    I have no means to do overtime, my husband does but that's seasonal and won't be till around Easter. I can't take a second job as it's just not feasible. I should add we have £700 outstanding with Very and £200 with Argos which comes out my £600. I've cut up my debenhams and outfit store cards and the 3 cc to prevent additional spending as well as disassociating stored card details from PayPal,Amazon and the like.
    We're on a water meter, pay minimum on virgin tv, have an employee discount on gas/electric, have sim only deals on mobiles, don't want to change mortgage deal till its up and were in a finically better place.
    So can I do any more ? Is there anything I'm missing? Should I consolidate 2 or more cards, as I've currently allocated £250 pm to clear debts is that money working to the best advantage ?
    A fresh pair of eyes and a different take on things would be appreciated.
    TIA
  • Hi Sally

    Thanks for your post and I hope you found our Debt Remedy tool useful.

    A DMP is an informal arrangement, so I can’t guarantee that your creditors won’t take further action against you, but they’re less likely to do so when you’re on a plan with us.

    It’s very unlikely that an unsecured debt such as a credit card would put your house or possessions at risk. If a creditor decided to take legal action they can apply for a county court judgement (CCJ).

    If this was to happen you’d be given the opportunity to show what you can afford to pay and an arrangement will usually be set for you to pay in monthly installments.

    The creditor can then apply for a charging order which would secure the debt against your property. However, as long as you keep to the terms of the order by making the agreed monthly payments no further action can be taken, so you wouldn’t lose your home or possessions.

    You can find more information about charging orders here on our website along with more information on the debt collection process.

    Making reduced payments to your debts will affect your credit rating. This won’t make it impossible to get an equity release scheme in the future but you may not get the best offers. When the time comes we can provide free equity release advice if you'd like to use our services again.

    Home owner loans are usually secured against your property and have a higher monthly repayment. I wouldn’t recommend taking out a secured loan, because if you fell behind with the payments your house would be at risk. There’s more information about consolidation loans on our website.

    If you’d like to talk about your budget in more detail you can find our contact details by clicking the ‘Need Help?’ button at the bottom of each page in Debt Remedy.

    Thanks,

    Linsi

    Jaffa_pig wrote: »
    Thanks for the quick reply. We filled in the debt remedy thing last night and it suggested we go for a Debt Management Plan as the first choice, with the only other option being to sell our house. If we do the DMP it said our creditors might take legal action, does that mean there is a chance we might lose our house, or possessions?

    I will be 55 in December next year and applying for equity release at that time seems like a good option. Would a bad credit rating (from the DMP) stop us getting an equity release scheme next year?

    Lastly, would a home owners loan be a good option for us? It wasn't mentioned in our debt remedy plan, but would enable us to consolidate our debts into one lump sum and spread the repayments over 15 years.

    Thanks for your help,

    Sally
  • Hi

    Ive recently recieved a county court judgement i think.. i dont think its a summons though

    Lowells is the claiment and its over an umpaid credit card ( £ 1023.00)

    Could some one advise me how to proceed as i think the debt is statute barred.

    I there any way i can find out when the last payment was paid to my credit card (Capitol One)
    am i right in saying the statute barred time out so to speak is started from the last payment date ??

    also does lowells need the origonal or a copy of the signed credit agreement

    Im well over my head on this im asking this and alot more questions as ive been doing some research on the net

    any help or advice would be really appreciated as im kacking myself

    Regards Rob
  • edited 4 December 2016 at 2:04PM
    sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    edited 4 December 2016 at 2:04PM
    Loserpippa wrote: »
    Hi I'm new to this, so wasn't sure where to post this. I initially posted in the loans section and got some advice, but some said that it's my own fault. I just needed some advice please. Firstly I should tell you that I'm on a DMP with Stepchange- I have 2 credit cards . One of them has frozen my interest. The second one (£9700 with Halifax) refuse to freeze the interest as i can pay the minimum through the DMP. My issue is that I am paying £150 a month, but only £50 goes towards the main balance. They are charging me £100 a month in interest. I called them and they said that they couldn't help. I cant get a loan as it's not allowed as I'm on a DMP. Also my credit rating is not great.I don't know what to do. I'm never going to pay off the Halifax card at this rate and I'm feeling quite depressed and anxious about it. I don't have anyone to talk to. Please help!

    Pippa this really needs to be in the general DFW forum, this is the stepchange advisers thread, you'll just get the same advice again, maybe board guide can move possibly ?

    You want the big blue "NEW THREAD" button, don't tag it onto someone else's post.

    PM me if your unsure.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to:
    [email protected].
    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
  • Hi,

    This is my first post on here and hopefully the first step in getting my financial situation sorted.

    I currently owe 20600 and am struggling to meet my monthly financial commitments ie, rent, council tax etc.

    It hasn't got to the point where I have people knocking at my door but that can't be too far away unless I get something sorted. Ultimately I have more outgoing than coming in.

    what would you suggest would be the best course of action? I literally have no luxuries and I'm working 50 hours a week and I'm not making ends meet.

    Thanks in anticipation Ryan
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • loopy1980loopy1980 Forumite
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    Hi


    I owe about 3 catalogues a total of around £2500 and was wondering if its possible to shift these debts to a 0% credit card as the interest on them is around the 49% mark and its getting hard to keep to the minimum monthly repayments.


    I'm not sure whether my credit score would be good enough to get a card but I wanted to know whether this is even possible to do in the first place


    Many Thanks
  • StepChange_AllenStepChange_Allen Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
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    Hi,

    This is my first post on here and hopefully the first step in getting my financial situation sorted.

    I currently owe 20600 and am struggling to meet my monthly financial commitments ie, rent, council tax etc.

    It hasn't got to the point where I have people knocking at my door but that can't be too far away unless I get something sorted. Ultimately I have more outgoing than coming in.

    what would you suggest would be the best course of action? I literally have no luxuries and I'm working 50 hours a week and I'm not making ends meet.

    Thanks in anticipation Ryan

    Hi Ryan

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.

    I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling to pay everything that you need to at the moment. There's always something that can be done to get things under control, but that something is different for everyone.

    We would be happy to assess your financial situation and recommend the best steps to take. You can register with us free, with no obligation, which will involve putting a budget together so that we can get the understanding we need about your circumstances. We'll then also be able to put your mind at ease about the possibility of someone knocking at your door about money. There are only a few circumstances where this can happen and we'll advise what to do if this does occur.

    You can contact us in different ways, details of which are on our website.

    We look forward to helping you.

    Allen
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
  • edited 5 December 2016 at 5:55PM
    edited 5 December 2016 at 5:55PM
    Hi Rob

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

    The first thing to do check is that you’ve received a genuine claim form. It should have N1 written at the bottom of the page and should also show the name of the court and the claim number which identifies your case.

    For credit cards the limitation period is usually 6 years. This starts from whichever of the following is most recent:

    • Earliest date the creditor could take court action to recover the full amount
    • Date of last payment
    • Date of last written acknowledgement (this does not include letters sent by the creditor)

    To find out when the last payment was made you can check your old bank statements or your credit file. I’d also recommend you have a look at the step by step guide to statute barred debts on our Money Aware blog.

    If the debt is statute barred you could use this as a defence against the CCJ. Drafting a valid defence can be complex, so if this is something you decide to do I’d recommend you seek legal advice first.

    Lowell won’t necessarily need the credit agreement to apply for a CCJ. However, if the agreement was made before April 2007 and Lowell can’t provide a copy of the agreement this could also be used as a defence.

    If the debt isn’t statute barred and you need help completing the claim form please get in touch, here are our contact details.

    I hope this helps,

    Linsi

    Hi

    Ive recently recieved a county court judgement i think.. i dont think its a summons though

    Lowells is the claiment and its over an umpaid credit card ( £ 1023.00)

    Could some one advise me how to proceed as i think the debt is statute barred.

    I there any way i can find out when the last payment was paid to my credit card (Capitol One)
    am i right in saying the statute barred time out so to speak is started from the last payment date ??

    also does lowells need the origonal or a copy of the signed credit agreement

    Im well over my head on this im asking this and alot more questions as ive been doing some research on the net

    any help or advice would be really appreciated as im kacking myself

    Regards Rob
  • Hi

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post.

    I’m sorry you’re finding it hard to keep up with the minimum payments to your catalogues.

    Most creditors do run a credit check as part of their application process. So if you don’t have a great credit score your application might not be approved. I can’t say what the likelihood is that you’ll be accepted as each credit card provider has their own criteria when reviewing applications. However, you can use the eligibility calculator on the MSE website without affecting your credit rating.

    I wouldn’t normally recommend further borrowing, but if the only issue is the interest then it might be worth looking into. Here’s a link to find out more about this option.

    Another option may be to put a realistic budget together and where possible cut back on any unnecessary areas of spending. This could help you to maintain the minimum payments and pay extra towards the debts, bringing the debt down quicker.

    You can use our anonymous online tool Debt Remedy to put a budget together and get further advice for free.

    Thanks,

    Linsi

    loopy1980 wrote: »
    Hi


    I owe about 3 catalogues a total of around £2500 and was wondering if its possible to shift these debts to a 0% credit card as the interest on them is around the 49% mark and its getting hard to keep to the minimum monthly repayments.


    I'm not sure whether my credit score would be good enough to get a card but I wanted to know whether this is even possible to do in the first place


    Many Thanks
  • Hi
    My friend has a debt from her Ex husband. She took out several loans to try and bail the family out of debt and now having separated from her husband is left with the debts in her sole name.
    She has a total of £20k debts all with 5 creditors.
    She had been offered three solutions from Stepchange.
    1, Debt management plan £140 over 13 yrs 2 months
    2, Iva
    3, Bankruptcy


    She is in rented accommodation and her only asset is a car £3000.
    Her concern about Bankruptcy is being made homeless should she need to move to another rent property and also any effect this might have on her profession as a nurse.


    My initial thinking is to try and make individual arrangements with each creditor, with the out come being to freeze interest and other charges. To enable her to pay the debts without and need for IVA or Bankruptcy.


    Any advice is very welcome.
    Thank you in advance.
    T
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