Hi, looking for best way forward to sort out growing debt, so here goes.  A long story which I will try to condense. Two years ago I ruptured my right Achilles tendon.  Lots of sickness absence from work (NHS Nurse). Finally had op to repair it in April of this year.   Returned to work on phased return last week (I was off work 5 months and on basic salary).  Unfortunately the op hasn't worked and pain is now worse, my mental health is now the worst I've ever known (depression and sleepless nights).

 Meanwhile over the 2 years I've managed to wrack up £15,000 debt on 5 different credit cards and a Very account!!!!   Initially I could pay off monthly repayments and more because I could work extra shifts at work. Now I can't work extra shifts due to pain and so I'm on basic pay.  I can't afford the bills anymore.  I've even used CC to pay for food.  What do I do?  Citizens advice, IVA etc???  HELP im drowning in this and having really bad thoughts!!!!!


  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,526
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    edited 25 September 2023 at 5:29PM
    First off, I think you are well aware you can`t carry on like that, leaving yourself without food money is not a strategy that is workable, stop paying out on non essential credit bills you cannot afford, then get your essential budget in order.

    Your essential spending comes first at all times, but especially in times of crisis, your creditors won`t mind if you miss some payments, once you know were you are money wise, write to your creditors and tell them your story, as you have told us, ask for some time to determine your position and get debt advice.

    You can either go into a debt management plan, where you pay less than you are now, over a longer timeframe, according to your budget, or look at a more regulated solution, you can take advice from this forum, or one of the debt charities in my signature, or both.

    Are you a homeowner, or do you rent ?

    Don`t worry about this, the solution is there, you just need to access 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 [email protected]. 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- The "provit letter" is here-
  • Hi OP - sorry to hear that you've been through such a tough time, and are still struggling both mentally and physically. 

    winding things back to basics here - as Sourcrates says - ignore unsecured debts for the time being. Once you have taken those out of the equation are you able to afford your priority bills on your basic salary? If so, then great. If not, then you need to look at what if anything can be cut. 

    I think it would be worth you putting together an SOA (Statement of Affairs) to really get your budget straight and give yourself an "at a glance" reference to your income and outgoings. You'll find the link to the calculator we recommend in my signature below - there are also links in the "sticky" thread at the top of this board. 

    Take a breath - you've realised there is an issue and are now in a good position to sort things out. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
  • A SOA can be quite eye-opening when you first do it.  It'll be well worth you posting one to a) get a good grasp of your finances for yourself and b) let others show you were things can be cut to release extra spending.  If you are an NHS nurse and have debt of around 15k, there's a high likelihood of getting yourself out of it with a bit of a belt tighten here and there without going to extremes (IVA).
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,224
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Cashback Cashier
    In the grand scheme of things, debt isn't that important.

    Yes - give us a soa.

    But you will know that there are effective treatments for depression and i'm sure something can be done about your achilles. Those are the important things
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