A problem shared...

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
6 replies 5K views
JGroatsJGroats Forumite
11 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe

I've been a 'voyeur' on this site for some months now and picked up loads of useful tips and I feel now is the time to, in some small way, repay the excellent advice with a little of my own.

4(ish) years ago I go into a lot of debt. I suffered with depression, lost my job and found myself owing approx. £7000 to banks and credit cards. My first piece of advice is checking the small print on your payment protection. I had payment protection covering a bank loan and credit card. The loan was with HSBC, the credit card was issued by HSBC and both payment protections were with the same company but they only paid out on the smaller credit card debt and not the loan...to this day I still don't know why!

DON'T STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND - just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there! I know all the tricks, disposing of the letters before anyone see's them, not answering the phone, hiding when there's a knock at the door. It's no way to live your life and before you know it, it'll all come tumbling around you.

GET HELP, FOR FREE - Never pay for help. Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureaux. They will go through exactly what you owe, help you prioritise and go through your income and expenditure. Not only that, they will write to all your debtors and were necessary get them to freeze interest on those accounts. You will not need to talk to your debtors again and if they persist in phoning you, you simply refer them to your local CAB. Do this and you will physically feel the weight lift from your shoulders!

CHECK YOUR CREDIT RECORD - get a copy of your credit record from Experian or Equifax and go through it with a fine tooth comb. It won't be pleasant reading at this stage but at least you'll know what's gone wrong and what you need to improve. Plus, anything that looks incorrect you can challenge or put a note on your record. One of the main reasons for doing this though, is you'll see when any defaults/ccj's were first listed. Remember, nasties stay on your credit record for SIX YEARS following their inception and will seriously hamper your ability to get credit during this time. There is no way of removing these (no matter what anyone tells you) so this will probably mean no credit cards, store cards, loans, hp, etc for the duration of this time. It could also make it very difficult to get a bank current account with a cheque quarantee card; at best you'll get a current account (with a cheque book but without a cheque guarantee card) and a SOLO type debit card.

BE PREPARED FOR A LONG WAIT - Debt isn't something that happens overnight, it takes time to accumulate, so you must be realistic in the amount of time it will take to clear. There is no magic wand, no quick fix and let's face it, it's highly unlikely you'll win the Lottery. So, be patient and stick to the plan. Also, it's worth remembering that you've got into debt once, it's highly likely that you could get into debt again. Use the time your repaying your debt to educate yourself about money matters and look at how you got into debt in the first place. Everyone has a story but can you learn from yours?

Well...that's quite enough from me now...if you've managed to read this far, thank you for your patience. I hope you aren't experiencing debt problems but if you are, remember, a problem shared...


  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    JGroats, welcome to the site!!!! Its great to have you aboard, thankyou for your excellent advice and tips on how to clear your debt, and the inspiration to keep going. I think sharing real life success stories is one of the best way to keep a positive attitude, especially when times are tough.

    Thanks again.
  • Thanks for the warm welcome.

    Debt is an issue that i feel very strongly about as I know from experience how it can effect people. I also know how people in debt are drawn to this site in search of some kind of miraculous 'quick fix' and it's great to see that Martin and co. are taking (as always) a responsible approach to debt.
  • jay-1jay-1 Forumite
    484 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Hi JGroats

    Great advice.

    I was in a bit of debt and burried my head until a friend made me do something about it .Immediately a weight was lifted and I am happy to be debt free now.

    Take the advice from GROATS.

    It will help You
  • robnyerobnye Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    welcome JGroats

    great first posting..... :)
    smile --- it makes people wonder what you are up to.... ;) :cool:
  • hi everyone! reading the op is like reading my life!! been there done it got the teeshirt.

    Im now (hopefully) on the road back.

    that was a lovely post! mostly beacause i think most of us can relate to it and see some of us in it.

    I agree totally about sliding back into debt! Its so easy to do. Its just too easy to do now!

    The only way i have stopped it is NO CREDIT CARDS, NO SHOP CARDS NO LOANS.

    If i want something i have to save for it or i dont get it! easy!!
  • jay-1jay-1 Forumite
    484 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    ditto ! :)
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