Debt free as from today.

jools1985
jools1985 Posts: 321
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edited 12 September 2022 at 4:12PM in Debt-free wannabe
I'm posting this in the hope it may help others who are perhaps early in their debt free journey. I know I always felt there was hope for me when I read how others had become debt free. I've had a lot of help and support via this board and for that I am so greatful. The dairies are inspiring and full of good tips. I'd advise anyone just starting out to read through dome of them. It's just helpful to know you are not the only one going through a debt problem.

As of today I am debt free. My credit rating is rubbish but I really don't care as I never want to use credit again. My debts at their highest were around £56000 unsecured debt I also still had about £20000 outstanding on my mortgage. I was coming up to 60 years old and just knew I had to get this under control as my working life could not go on forever.

I was a compulsive gambler, much of my debt had been run up by online gambling using credit cards. I had nothing to show for my compulsion so nothing I could see to raise funds etc. I blocked myself from all gambling sites in November 2017 and began repaying my creditors. I do not gamble at all now. I won't even buy raffle tickets. My gambling recovery is another story, not for this board.

I struggled to make an impact on my huge debt for almost a year. The interest charges were huge on such large debts and I always ran out of money so resorted to credit cards for food and other essentials. I was stuck in a never ending circle of paying a little off my debts then adding to them when I was once again short of money before pay day.

I'd never missed any payments for anything before I entered into a DMP with Stepchange. I took advice from this forum and delayed the start of the DMP for 3 months and built up an emergency fund. I am so glad I did because some things did happen - needing a new clutch in my car for example and having the emergency fund meant I could actually pay for the repair.

Like many others on here I had a fear of debt collectors and nasty phone calls ect. however, I found that no one ever really bothered me at all. I;d get an annual statement from most of them and tat was that. 

I did as much as I possibly could to increase my income, I worked overtime whenever I could,  and last year took a second job on the 2021 Census. I currently have a second job doing exam invigilating. I do all sorts of things that bring in a few extra pounds - doing surveys which I first read about on here. I'm part of the Mindprober community and was recently paid £240 in amazon vouchers for helping out with some research for them - it was really easy too.

In July 2020  my mortgage term ended - I was mortgage free. I then increased the payment to Stepchange to include the almost £800 a month I had been paying for my mortgage. Fast forward another 2 years to today and my final DMP payment to Stepchange left my bank account this morning. It all feels a bit surreal but boy is it a relief :) I guess what I'm trying to say is try not to worry about entering a DMP. It does come to an end. Life can and will be less stressful again. Good luck to anyone starting out. :)

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Comments

  • SusieT
    SusieT Posts: 1,267
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    Congratulations, it must feel good to know that you can now live without having debt hanging over you, and the money you earn can now be used for whatever you want to do with it rather than seeing it go from the account to pay for the past you.
    Credit card debt - NIL
    Home improvement secured loans 30,130/41,000 and 23,156/28,000 End 2027 and 2029
    Mortgage 64,513/100,000 End Nov 2035
    2022 all rolling into new mortgage + extra to finish house. 125,000 End 2036
  • Misslayed
    Misslayed Posts: 13,957
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    Congratulations! :) What an achievement. Thanks for sharing. 🤗
    I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families 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 [email protected] All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.
  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Posts: 1,322
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    Congratulations and thankyou for sharing. Debt managment plans can seem very daunting at first, but this kind of post makes people realise there really isn't anything to fear and that they can get themselves back into a sustainable position.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,434
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    Congratulations on achieving not just one but 3 milestones. 

    Time now to enjoy life a bit more and build a little to support your future retirement?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 905
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    Congratulations Jools!
  • Fantastic work. Well done on an immense achievement and thanks for sharing your story.
  • warby68
    warby68 Posts: 2,990
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    That is a great achievement. £57k to zero in less than 5 years and all your own very hard work.

    Best wishes for the future where retirement must now also seem like a possibility.
  • pearl123
    pearl123 Posts: 2,045
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    edited 14 September 2022 at 11:25AM
    Jools1985
    Congratulations, in not only getting debt free, but also breaking an addiction. Well done.
  • That's an immense amount of really hard work - huge respect to you @jools1985
  • Extraordinary achivement! Very many congratulatons. 
    Mortgage 17th of Jan 24 = £174,000
    Escaping into Private Practice fund £330/£11,000 = 3%
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