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My life is in tatters. I'm in £50k debt. Help!

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My life is in tatters. I'm in £50k debt. Help!

edited 8 July at 10:30PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
60 replies 12.1K views
Bubbles82Bubbles82 Forumite
5 posts
Name Dropper First Post
edited 8 July at 10:30PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
I don't know where to start. I feel like I've been in a weird bubble and have just woken up to an insane nightmare. 
A bit of history, I've never been good with money. I've always overspent and had some form of debt, usually no more than £1000 though. 
Things went badly downhill a few years ago. After I had my first daughter I suffered with postnatal depression and began to spend more and more to make myself feel better. When I got better my spending improved. 

Then in 2018 I had my 2nd daughter. Again, I got postnatal depression and things completely spiralled for me. It was very nasty. I was highly suicidal and ended up on more medication etc with lots of therapy which I'm still going through. My spending got completely crazy. Mine and my husbands relationship really struggled but we got through it. I should mention here that I never told my husband about any of my debts as I thought I could get myself out of it. I didn't want to stress him out. I rang a debt charity a year or so ago but they said they couldn't help as I was still repaying everything at that point. 

I racked up subscriptions everywhere. I'd direct debits coming out for stuff I didn't know was occurring regularly. I could not stop shopping. I massively messed up. 
It all hit the fan at the weekend when a debt collector landed on my neighbours doorstep apparently looking for me.
This culminated in me telling my husband that I/we were in 50k debt. He was shocked/stunned/angry/gutted etc. It was awful. He pretty much went straight to his mum to tell her and get advice as she used to be a financial advisor. I then got on the phone to a debt charity to get advice. It all looked like I was going to get an IVA but then my husband convinced me to tell my dad who was terrified for me. He is in his early 70s and said he's going to lend me most of the money.
My husband is going to stay with me but is going to disassociate our finances so I don't ever put him or my little girls (aged 1 and 3) in trouble financially. 

Ive done loads the past few days to get myself back on track and now have a very thorough budget plan including a plan to try pay my dad back ASAP, hopefully within 3-5 years.
My dad is hardly talking to me, my husband is struggling with it but trying to support me and I feel so ashamed that I don't know how I'm ever going to face everyone who knows about it again. I don't know how this has happened. I presume I've some form of shopping addiction brought on by depression. This can't happen again as my husband has told me he'll absolutely kick me out and take the girls to keep them safe, which I understand. 

He outright owns the house too as when we were buying it I owned another apartment which I couldn't sell at the time so I've nothing to my name. 
I feel like I've let everyone down and that I'm on a cliff edge that I could fall off at any time. How do I know I won't do this again?! Does anyone have any experience of this happening to them? How do you build back trust with people you've let down? 

Hearing the devastation in my dad and hubby's voices is replaying in my head. My dad doesn't deserve to have to pick up the pieces especially when he should be enjoying retirement after all those years working hard. 
I feel so down and alone and don't know where to turn. 
Does anyone have any advice they can give me? 
Please be nice. I'm feeling pretty fragile and know how much I've messed up. 



  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
    20.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Moved for you.
    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
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
  • Muriel_HeslopMuriel_Heslop Forumite
    61 posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper

    I just wanted to pop in and say well done for posting, it's not always easy to do it and confront what has happened. But you're here and people on here have so much knowledge and experience and are so helpful and're not alone. 

    Is borrowing the money from your dad the best thing? If you still have access to credit, who knows if you will build it up again. Maybe it's better not to have that access and stick with your original plan. Could you post an SOA so that people can offer advice on saving money.

    I agree with elsien, this is something that can be sorted. Your children are perfectly safe. You've not been well, it's happened and there will be a solution. Yes it's a shock, but once you take control over your finances and pay things off, I'm sure you will feel better, and your family will see that you're dealing with things.

    Here's the SOA link

    Keep posting.

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

  • Poppy1984Poppy1984 Forumite
    482 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Hi there
    well done for posting you have made the first step. 
    I know £50,000 is a lot of money but it's not like you have just spent it all on yourself, you have clearly been spending it on things for your daughters and the family too. It is a joint debt between you and your husband. I completely understand that feeling of waking up from it wondering what am I doing?! I have been there too. To the tune of over £30,000 debt and only mine no husband. I am 2 years in and have paid £17,000 back myself no family loan. I echo what the other posters say I don't think it's a good idea to lend the money off your dad. I have found the last 2 years a struggle but I needed that challenge to change my habits and learn what I have to know I will NEVER do that again. You said how do you know you won't do it again. I think if you borrow from your Dad  there's a high chance you will do it again. BUT if you go through the challenge you won't because you will learn so much from it. 
    I also echo what the others have said about your children, your husband cannot stop you seeing your children unless they were at risk of harm, debt does not equal harm unless you were neglecting them due to debt so don't worry about him kicking you out and taking the children. 

    I think the best start for you is to compete and SOA and get back onto the debt charity about your options. 

    You can get through this! 

    Poppy :heart:
    19-02-18 Total Debt £30,322
    Debt remaining: £12,957
    Original DFD Aug 2024 New DFD June March Jan 2023
  • SadieOSadieO Forumite
    71 posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts
    You and your husband will need to go through the debt repayment process together. Hopefully once he's calmed down the threats will stop and he will be some use in this situation. Where did he think the children's clothes/toys/things for the house were coming from? Unless you bought something wildly expensive and hid it (in which case, sell it and pay back a chunk of debt) he has been complicit in this situation by letting his wife, who has 2 new little ones and mental health difficulties, manage the family finances on her own. This is not ok and the situation is his light bulb moment as much as yours.  
    You should not feel embarrassed or ashamed about what has happened. Frankly, if anyone should it is your husband. Talking about your children being "safe" from you and threatening to take them away is disgusting. Yes, he may have been in shock but unless you were exceptionally skilled at hiding everything you were going through, he shouldn't have been shocked. You say you didn't tell him about your debt but, as Babystepper says, did he see the things you were buying? Even if you usually work and have a "each keeps their own money" policy, given how little your daughters are I presume you have had at least two periods in the past few years of being away from work - did he not wonder where the money for things was coming from if he wasn't paying for them himself and you were on maternity leave? 

    Also, did he realise you were suicidally depressed, taking medication and seeing doctors and therapists? I can't imagine how he couldn't have known this so again, I don't think his "shock" excuses his unsupportive (to say the least) behaviour.  You talk about feeling that you let people down and how to rebuild their trust in you - well I think it is your husband that should be reflecting on how he has let you down by failing to recognise how much you were struggling (even if you successfully managed to hide the debt and all your purchases from him, as your partner and co-parent why wasn't he noticing that you were seriously ill with PND?) and then threatening you when you are clearly (a) incredibly vulnerable and (b) trying to make things better.

    I also really dislike the idea of him "disassociating" his finances from yours (is that even possible when you are staying married and have a marital home and two children together??). How do household bills/child expenses etc get paid currently? How does he think they should get paid in the future when he has "disassociated"?
  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
    109 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Hi Bubbles82, i don't normally post as i am more of a lurker but i had to reply to you.  I hope your husband is just in shock and maybe a little hurt as you have kept this from him and this is why he has said these horrible things about taking your children away. He is your husband and meant to be supportive and kind and help you through problems, not make you feel even worse. 
    I hope the therapy is helping as PND is very serious. 

    LBM Debt Total : £48,326.50
    June : £45,762.32
    July : £42,149.91 
  • Bubbles82Bubbles82 Forumite
    5 posts
    Name Dropper First Post
    Hey, firstly thank you all so much for replying. I really appreciate it.
    I lost it crying last night and could hardly speak when my husband tried to talk to me. I ended up showing him this post so he can see what's currently going on in my head.
    I want to clear up a few things though:
    • I really don't want my husband to be made out to be the "baddie" in this. He's been so supportive and has been through such a lot with me over the past few years. I feel like I'm just one big ball of problems to him recently and really need to break the trend. He clarified a few things to me today too 1) he wouldn't kick me out, 2) he wouldn't stop me seeing my girls but obviously if this happened again (i.e. me lying to him about money) that he would leave me. He's promised me/himself that he would do that. He's been lied to by previous ex's in the past and I'm now become his next liar (he did ask me outright over the past few months if I was ok with money and helped me pay off random debts and I told him I was fine).
    • My mother in law is also lovely and didn't ask me to ring my dad to get money from him but to rather get things out in the open and get advice. He just happened to insist he'd lend me the money.
    • I'm still debating about whether I should borrow the money from dad but also know that we'll (incl my husband) be impacted, probably for up to 11 years, with bad credit and I don't think that's fair on my husband who has always been extremely good with money. I also worry that he won't be able to get past this and may still leave and if we've bad credit then that leaves us all screwed.
    • The things I've spent the money on were anything and everything from household items, things for kids, clothes for me, I tried to setup 2 businesses, both of which aren't successful and setup costs hurt massively.
    • I should also mention I'm self-employed and have been running another marketing business for 8 years. It's usually very successful but Covid has not been kind to it so I'm currently furiously peddling trying to get it back up and running.
    • @poppy1984 wow that's incredible. How did you get the initial money to pay back the debts, if it wasn't through family? Was it an IVA? I love that butterfly story - thank you x
    • SadieO I guess he didn't see the stuff coming in as I work from home and he didn't (he does now). It's not his fault though. Yeah he's aware now that I was suicidal at that time and that I was on medication. It is possible to disassociate finances to basically protect one partner from another's poor credit. I didn't know it was but only found out recently because of all of this when my husband told me about it. Over the past nearly year, my husband has taken on most of our bills so I could get myself on my feet financially again as he know I wasn't doing great financially. He didn't know how bad things had gotten though until last weekend. I've massively let him down.
    I can't believe I've done this. What an absolute jerk I am :( I really don't want to come across like I'm looking for pity. I really don't. I'm just in a mess and want to get out of it properly. I have a budget plan now, which I've shared with my dad and husband and I think I can work to providing my business doesn't get worse. It also includes savings, debt paybacks, a small bit of spending money etc.
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