How did you get into this debt?



  • ms_london
    ms_london Posts: 2,852 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Mine started on catalogues when i hit 18, then a small loan, then credit cards, then a bigger loan, store cards & an even bigger loan & going overdrawn on my overdraft with both banks. Eeeeeek!! What i bought, umm, a holiday to Cyprus in 2001, a £400 shopping spree in 2 hours (when i was out of work aswell), going out 3/4 times a week (although im not a big drinker i was just getting taxis everywhere, buying huge rounds etc) - the only thing i have to show for it is a denim jacket from warehouse, seriously!! Oooops!!

    What an idiot I was :0) Still, repaying the debt has made me who i am today & im much happier than when i was spending the money....seriously :0)

  • Mango
    Mango Posts: 167 Forumite
    Mine started when I did my masters - I was very careful during my first degree but I completely overpent while I was doing my MA. The majority went on rent, buying books and other course materials but I wasted loads on ready meals, eating out etc. After I finished I moved to London and deposit for flat, just general stuff like buying work clothes, cooking utensils etc all went on a credit card. Then I got into the London lifestyle - out every night after work, shopping all the time, eating out...I got to the point where my minimum repayments were scaring me so I stupidly took out a loan to pay off my cc and overdraft - but as I was so rubbish at budgeting then the cc & overdraft built up again - aaargh!! It's all getting sorted now though, thanks to MSE and you folks on here :T
  • Kimberley
    Kimberley Posts: 14,871 Forumite
    I think some of the blame for debt has to go to the creditors. When you go into a highstreet shop, you are asked if you want a store card with an instant £500 credit to spend in the shop there and then. Now they do not ask you if you are on benefit, they do not as you if you are financially able to pay the monthly repayments. All they ask for is a signature.. Now surely the creditors should ask for proof of income at least..

    It's all too tempting for single mums on benefit to be given credit to spend in the shops there and then, as you don't think of the consequences until later..

    I went into BHS yesterday and was asked if i wanted their Gold card with an instant £500 credit to spend instantly..They didn't ask if i was working or anything..Of course i said no but it was tempting
  • Squiffy
    Squiffy Posts: 173 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Well a number of factors contributed to the situation I'm in, but I got into this debt by not being financially disciplined.

    Back in 1997 I took up IT contracting, earning in excess of £80k per year. As a contractor I took dividends from my company every three months. During this time I got into the habit of spending freely on credit cards and then paying them off at dividend time. As time went on, I found that I wouldn't always pay them off in full. Obviously this was when things started to go wrong. During this period we bought a house, new cars, lots of gadgets, nice holidays - the works.

    In 2000 my wife was due to have our first child and the contract market was quite uncertain (post Y2K and IR35). So I went permie on a reduced income - about £70k. Things were OK. But we'd lost some income, and when our child was born my wifes income reduced and outgoings increased (nursery fees).

    And I was still in the habit of spending freely on the credit cards.

    Then my employer went bust, but luckily my dept was bought by another company and my job was preserved - albeit with a lower salary - the £63k I'm on now.

    And although we had large-ish debts at this time. Probably £35k, it was more than manageable on our combined incomes.

    Until my wife fell pregnant with twins. This caused considerable expense when we found our nice cars couldn't fit THREE child seats in the back. So new cars, new baby equipment, moving to a bigger house...

    But I still didn't acknowledge the problem.

    And so we get to where we are now. Debt of £68k, household income likely to reduce again with my redundancy... :o
  • fruityslh
    fruityslh Posts: 123 Forumite
    Mine was down to Uni, my hubbys ex-girlfriend took him for a mug, so together we had loads of debt ot begin with, then bought house and getting married and even though we've never been extravagant, it just is so easy just to pay the minimum repayments. Have calculated our debt free date to be July 2007, to pay off £20K worth of credit card debt.
    Pay all debts by Xmas 12 # 072 £1201.79/£15,105.68:eek:
    2012 Frugal Living Challenge
    Sealed Pot Challenge 5 #1711
  • lou_martin
    lou_martin Posts: 28 Forumite
    Started off with a loan for a car (when i was learning to drive and hadn't even passed my test) and I'd moved out of home and didn't know how to budget or anything. Lived in a houseful of girls and all we did was go out and get drunk and shop!! Sounds good but i was earning a lot less than everyone else but trying to keep up with them!

    Then came the 'convenience' of a credit card and a job in London, just off Oxford St - SHOPS GALORE! So the spending carried on and the loan got consolidated to pay off the credit card and then I started spending on the credit card again and so the story goes on.... Terribly stupid I know when i look back now but hindsight won't pay the debts off!!

    Like ms_london i've got nothing to show for it all which is the saddest part! All that money down the drain.

    My debt-free date is September 2008.

    Good luck to the rest of you!
    lou_martin :rotfl:

    Debt-free date Sept 2008
  • newfunk
    newfunk Posts: 2,415 Forumite
    Mine was a bad divorce which led to business failure I had borrowed 250k from the bank to buy a business and put my house etc up for it...3 years later my wife is having an affair with a friend of mine, she hadnt done the accounts properly......i attempted suicide and she put a knife to my throat in front of my kids....Business total it cost me £350K
    In this trusted place U can erase
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  • lou_martin
    lou_martin Posts: 28 Forumite
    crikey that's an awful story, hope you are well on the way to recovery (in mind and body) now??
    lou_martin :rotfl:

    Debt-free date Sept 2008
  • newfunk
    newfunk Posts: 2,415 Forumite
    lou_martin wrote:
    crikey that's an awful story, hope you are well on the way to recovery (in mind and body) now??

    Could be worse, i could still be married to her!!!! At the time it was like the end of the world!! Now, im with a gorgeous loving girl, and starting my own business again, only this time a whole lot wiser..
    In this trusted place U can erase
    Every tear that ever rolled down your weary face
    All the time U waste in that paper chase
    Is time better spent in these arms of mine
  • Debt @ highest - £19,000

    Debt now - £5,090

    5th November 2005 - DEBT FREE DATE.

    5 months until I am debt free - whoooo!!

    whoooooo!!!! indeed. well done ms london

    bloody hell newunk. what a story :( goodluck with new venture.

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