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Struggling with debt? Ask a stepchange debt adviser a question

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Struggling with debt? Ask a stepchange debt adviser a question

edited 29 September at 4:38PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
241 replies 35.7K views
sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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edited 29 September at 4:38PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
If you need help with your debts, this is the thread for you.

This is a new thread, as the old one was getting a tad long.


Trained advisers from StepChange Debt Charity are here and waiting to answer your debt questions. They're a friendly bunch so please don't be shy!

There are three ways to get in touch:

1 - Simply post your question below and the team will reply. If your question is about bankruptcy, then pop over to the Bankruptcy board.

2 - If you would prefer to ask a question in private, feel free to send a message to StepChange Private Messages. PLEASE DO NOT PM DIRECT - THIS MAILBOX IS NOT MONITORED FOR THE TIME BEING

3 - StepChange Debt Remedy is a free and confidential online debt advice tool. You can put a budget together at your pace, and you can also talk it over with an adviser through online chat.

If you're a StepChange Debt Charity client already, please contact its Aftercare team rather than posting in this thread (their contact details are in your Welcome Pack).

If you're self employed and need debt help please get in touch with Business Debtline.

This is discussion thread part five, see parts one, two three and four: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5559140.


If you haven't already, join the forum to reply!
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:
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Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
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Replies

  • SkintmaSkintma Forumite
    1 posts
    My partner and I have racked up over £50k on credit cards/store cards and we are selling our house so we can downsize to clear the debt. Nothing is in arrears, but we are simply struggling to meet minimum payments due to interest. I am reluctant to get help as I feel this will affect our chances of securing our mortgage again when we finally sell. Is there any help I can get without affecting our mortgage chances.
  • Hi there

    Thanks for your post and sharing your situation.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with the interest on the cards and can understand your concern about future mortgage chances.

    You could try speaking to the credit card companies directly, explain your circumstances and see if they’d be willing to reduce the interest for a set time period, but this would be at your creditor’s discretion to agree to any changes.

    These agreed arrangements may also show on your credit file and could potentially impact which mortgage provider and which interest rate they could offer to you.

    I know you're reluctant to get help, but there's no obligation to go ahead with anything we recommend or impact on your credit file by finding out what your options could be. If you would like us to have a look at your circumstances, you can start a budget with us either online or over the phone and see what options we can suggest.

    Details of how you can contact us can be found here: www.stepchange.org/Contactus

    It might also be worthwhile considering contacting our mortgage advice team here: https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/mortgages.aspx to see if there is anything we could otherwise do to help.

    I hope this helps.

    Patience

    Skintma wrote: »
    My partner and I have racked up over £50k on credit cards/store cards and we are selling our house so we can downsize to clear the debt. Nothing is in arrears, but we are simply struggling to meet minimum payments due to interest. I am reluctant to get help as I feel this will affect our chances of securing our mortgage again when we finally sell. Is there any help I can get without affecting our mortgage chances.
  • Will i be able to rent or gt a mortgage if i defaulted and been on a DMP (self managed) in the last 6 years?
    Current Debt £39,000 Aiming to be debt free in 4 years:T
  • Hi there

    Thanks for your post.

    This is a difficult one to say for certain, the answer would be maybe as it would depend on your circumstances.

    Any defaults you have received would technically no longer show on your credit file after 6 years from the date it was registered on there, but it’s worth considering a few other things too.

    With mortgages, while they look at your credit file they also look at your affordability, so even if the records are no longer on your credit file but you’re still repaying the debts, this could impact your application.

    If you’re looking to get a mortgage, it would be worthwhile considering the time it would take to save up a deposit which would be difficult to do if you’re also repaying debts. This article explains a little more about mortgages while in a debt management plan (DMP, self-managed would also apply: https://moneyaware.co.uk/2017/07/can-i-get-a-mortgage-while-on-a-dmp/

    Renting may be a little different, once the default records no longer show on your credit file, this would theoretically mean (depending on what the landlord checks for) that it may be simpler to rent than get a mortgage. It would also be worthwhile considering how you'll save up for any deposits. Here's a little more information about this: https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/dmp-mortgage-home-tenancy.aspx

    However, if your creditors do decide to take legal action to collect the debt (a county court judgement) it may make it harder to take out a new tenancy or mortgage.

    I hope this helps a little.

    Patience


    Will i be able to rent or gt a mortgage if i defaulted and been on a DMP (self managed) in the last 6 years?
  • Sorry if I'm in the wrong place. I'm struggling to navigate the site.

    I'll cut to the chase.
    My wife had to stop work due to Ill health. Unbeknownst to me she had racked up a debt on a credit card and then proceeded to grow it to 5 figures, after stopping work. I had my own card debt which I set about reducing, using 0% transfers.

    I have nearly paid this off and have made a final payment on my mortgage.

    She didn't share the state of her finances until last year or so. (We have separate accounts). She had just been making minimum payments. I gave her extra money to help make some impact on the debt, but the interest rate is very high.
    Now, with my finances so healthy, we can get about sorting hers.

    Is it possible for me to transfer her debt to me, so I can secure a better interest rate? Or, is there another way, like a loan, that would help us pay it off quicker and cheaper?

    Thanks in advance
    Earth Rocker
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • StepChange_RachaelStepChange_Rachael Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    375 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts
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    Hi

    Welcome to the forum.

    It’s unlikely that you’d be able to transfer the debt over into your name, creditors generally won’t transfer a contract to someone else. I wouldn’t recommend doing this anyway, as it just transfers the liability into your name but won’t change the contractual agreement. Meaning the situation won’t make you or your wife any better off.

    Potentially by taking out debt at a better interest rate and using this to pay off the debt to reduce the interest your wife would pay, could be an option. As you mentioned, if you decided to go down this route it would likely be in your name and so I couldn’t recommend this. If the contractual payments are affordable, then your partner could check their eligibility to transfer to a cheaper product to bring down the interest. Either way, it might be difficult to do this with the full amount outstanding.

    As a debt advisor I can’t advise on products for further lending. However, if you decided to look down alternative debt solution routes, then I’d recommend speaking with a free debt advice service to investigate your partners options. If you want to go down this route, you can find our contact details here.

    Thanks
    Rachael








    Sorry if I'm in the wrong place. I'm struggling to navigate the site.

    I'll cut to the chase.
    My wife had to stop work due to Ill health. Unbeknownst to me she had racked up a debt on a credit card and then proceeded to grow it to 5 figures, after stopping work. I had my own card debt which I set about reducing, using 0% transfers.

    I have nearly paid this off and have made a final payment on my mortgage.

    She didn't share the state of her finances until last year or so. (We have separate accounts). She had just been making minimum payments. I gave her extra money to help make some impact on the debt, but the interest rate is very high.
    Now, with my finances so healthy, we can get about sorting hers.

    Is it possible for me to transfer her debt to me, so I can secure a better interest rate? Or, is there another way, like a loan, that would help us pay it off quicker and cheaper?

    Thanks in advance
    Earth Rocker
    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.
  • smltidysmltidy Forumite
    1 posts
    Hi. Hope this is the right place for this.

    I have been trying to get out of debt for quite a few years, but it seems very difficult to make consistent progress despite being on a decent salary.

    At present, I have two overdrafts (from student years) at a total of £2,700 and a credit card at £1,900.

    The maintenance payments make it very challenging to make a lot of progress. Do you have any advice that might help?

    To illustrate my ineffective approach, the credit card was designed to help me get out of one of those, but I am an idiot and now my situation is all the worse.

    Kind regards,
    Paul
  • HannahRGHannahRG Forumite
    1 posts
    Hello,

    I have 10000 worth of debt.
    I have looked at my credit reports and I have £6000 worth of CC debt which is charged off and 4000 in other debts (all in collections) what should I prioritize? Is it worth doing a consumer propsal? If I pay off some of the smaller debts will it improve me credit score?
  • Ian42Ian42 Forumite
    1 posts
    Hi, I have debts of £15000 on 2 credits (one was a zero interest balance transfer card) Both cards are almost at their limit. I had always cleared the full balance on my cards until the last few years. While.I can afford minimum payments i don't really have any access to cash with both cards maxed and all my wages going towards the cards.
    I don't have any other debts with my car finance cleared and my mortgage was paid off about 10 years ago. My house is worth approximately £90,000.
    Would a personal loan or a partial mortgage of my home be a good way to clear the debt on the cards? I could afford monthly payments of around £300 from my income of £29,000 gross annually
  • Hi Paul

    Thanks for posting on the forum, you've come to the right place.

    I’m sorry to hear about the challenges you’re facing to pay the debts. I think it would be a good idea to create a budget to see where you are financially each month. This might help if you feel you could offer more to your creditors to help clear these quicker.

    You can find a budget planner here: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner

    If you’re finding you’re struggling with the payments, due to the maintenance and other important living costs I would suggest seeking impartial debt advice.

    If you would like us to have a look at your circumstances, you can start a budget with us either online or over the phone and see what options we can suggest. There's no obligation to go ahead with anything we recommend and details of how you can contact us can be found here: www.stepchange.org/Contactus

    I hope this helps.

    Patience


    smltidy wrote: »
    Hi. Hope this is the right place for this.

    I have been trying to get out of debt for quite a few years, but it seems very difficult to make consistent progress despite being on a decent salary.

    At present, I have two overdrafts (from student years) at a total of £2,700 and a credit card at £1,900.

    The maintenance payments make it very challenging to make a lot of progress. Do you have any advice that might help?

    To illustrate my ineffective approach, the credit card was designed to help me get out of one of those, but I am an idiot and now my situation is all the worse.

    Kind regards,
    Paul
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