Making a Choice

Options
Hello.  Come here for help please.  

I have had a long period of mental health issues, during which time I messed up my finances.  I'd lost my job and had a long period of not being able to leave my flat.  SO I ended up living on credit cards, buying food with them mainly, and paying bills.

Im getting a lot of help now, I'm a lot better, and I want to start making things right with my money.  I have a job now.  Ive spoken to Step Change and they have recommended two options - one a Debt Management Plan where I pay £60 a month to my debts until its gone (8 years).  Or a Debt Relief Order (?) where I can get the debt written off in a years time.

I have gone backwards a bit in that I have just panicked and I cant decide what to do.  I just cant think. I would so appreciate advice.

I dont care about my credit file, I rent, own nothing of value.  

I have a breathing space agreement in place to buy me time to set things up.  But what should I do?

I'm 60 years old.  Have no dependants.  

John

Comments

  • JonVarnas
    Options
    JTG1959 said:
    Hello.  Come here for help please.  

    I have had a long period of mental health issues, during which time I messed up my finances.  I'd lost my job and had a long period of not being able to leave my flat.  SO I ended up living on credit cards, buying food with them mainly, and paying bills.

    Im getting a lot of help now, I'm a lot better, and I want to start making things right with my money.  I have a job now.  Ive spoken to Step Change and they have recommended two options - one a Debt Management Plan where I pay £60 a month to my debts until its gone (8 years).  Or a Debt Relief Order (?) where I can get the debt written off in a years time.

    I have gone backwards a bit in that I have just panicked and I cant decide what to do.  I just cant think. I would so appreciate advice.

    I dont care about my credit file, I rent, own nothing of value.  

    I have a breathing space agreement in place to buy me time to set things up.  But what should I do?

    I'm 60 years old.  Have no dependants.  

    John

    100% go for the DRO, the only caveat being that if your disposable income rises above £75 a month it would probably be cancelled and you'd be back at square one.

    It's a very quick and easy process: once you've gone through an intermediary, paid the £90 fee and had your application submitted to the Insolvency Service, they pretty much grant it immediately. That's it. No hassle from creditors and when your year is up you're debt free.

    I was in exactly the same position as you and went for the DRO and it was the best thing I've done and only have 20 days to go before my debts are gone.
  • StepChange_Aidan
    StepChange_Aidan Posts: 231 Organisation Representative
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    JTG1959 said:
    Hello.  Come here for help please.  

    I have had a long period of mental health issues, during which time I messed up my finances.  I'd lost my job and had a long period of not being able to leave my flat.  SO I ended up living on credit cards, buying food with them mainly, and paying bills.

    Im getting a lot of help now, I'm a lot better, and I want to start making things right with my money.  I have a job now.  Ive spoken to Step Change and they have recommended two options - one a Debt Management Plan where I pay £60 a month to my debts until its gone (8 years).  Or a Debt Relief Order (?) where I can get the debt written off in a years time.

    I have gone backwards a bit in that I have just panicked and I cant decide what to do.  I just cant think. I would so appreciate advice.

    I dont care about my credit file, I rent, own nothing of value.  

    I have a breathing space agreement in place to buy me time to set things up.  But what should I do?

    I'm 60 years old.  Have no dependants.  

    John

    Hi John,

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It’s good to hear that you’ve been getting help and are feeling better. Thanks for getting in touch with StepChange.

    A Debt Management Plan is a solution we recommend if it’s possible to repay your debts in a reasonable amount of time. This is a payment plan where you would pay an affordable monthly amount to StepChange, and the funds are shared out fairly among your creditors.

    A Debt Relief Order is a form of insolvency where your debts would be written off after 12 months.

    Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages. We can give debt advice and make a recommendation, but it will be up to you to decide which will be best for you and your situation.

    You will have been sent a Personal Action Plan which gives further information for each option, there is also a guide on our website:

    Debt Management Plan

    Debt Relief Order

    If you need any further advice or help to decide what to do, please don’t hesitate to call us back so we can discuss your options in more detail.

    I hope this helps,

    Aidan
  • JTG1959
    Options
    Thank you.  I recognised I was panicking and thought I'd come here for advice.  It helps.  

    John
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Options
    Hello, I was in a very similar situation about 7 years ago. Like you I spoke to someone at Stepchange and she recommended a DRO. She actually may have given me another option but I was in such a state at the time that a lot of what we discussed was forgotten. A DRO sounded like a great way to get rid of insurmountable debt and it offered a fresh start.

    I went for it. And I do agree with what JonVarnas says above, best thing I have ever done.

    If you go through Stepchange your application for DRO is guaranteed to succeed as they don't put people forward if they don't think they have any chance of being accepted. That was something I was a bit anxious about but I need not have worried because it was accepted. 

    The best thing about my having a DRO, if it's possible to say such a thing, is that after it was granted was the time that I really learned how to budget and manage money. I had to because the new basic bank account I had didn't allow any overdrafts and I'd been living on my old bank's overdraft for months. Not good.

    I came out of the end of the DRO older and much wiser and will be ever grateful to Stepchange for helping me find a viable solution to what I thought was the end of the road for me.

    You are only 60, a spring chicken!  A DRO will offer you a brand new start. Yes it will be 6 years before the whole thing is swiped away but it's well worth it. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 29,003 Ambassador
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    Options
    100% the DRO, 8 years is a long time in debt, especially when your 60 now.

    Take a common sense approach to it, look online, make sure you comply with all DRO acceptance criteria, if you do, then I'd go for it.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- https://www.stoozing.com/soa.php The "provit letter" is here-https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2607247/letter-when-you-know-nothing-about-about-the-debt-aka-prove-it-letter
  • RestlessOverDebt
    RestlessOverDebt Posts: 55 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 14 September 2021 at 4:39AM
    Options
    Hi JTG1959

    Having recently completed a Debt Relief Order myself, I would most certainly recommend it. In 12 months you will be debt free, as apposed to paying in to an IVA for the next 8 years.

    Kind regards
    RestlessOverDebt 
  • CrinkleCut21
    Options
    I, too, would recommend the DRO - though do check your rental agreement, as you may have to declare it to your landlord/managing agent
  • StepChange_Patience
    StepChange_Patience Posts: 79 Organisation Representative
    First Anniversary First Post
    Options
    Hi John

    It looks like you've got lots of lovely support on your post. 

    If you are still worried or panicking, please don't do this alone we're always here to help.

    Patience
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards