Debt free as from today.

edited 12 September 2022 at 4:12PM in Debt-free wannabe
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jools1985jools1985 Forumite
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Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud!
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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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