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Results: Has being in debt caused you stress and anxiety?

Yes

96.63% • 488 votes

No

3.37% • 17 votes

You may not vote on this poll

505 votes in total.

  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 8th May 15, 11:26 AM
    • 9,052Posts
    • 21,862Thanks
    MSE Andrea
    Debt and Mental Health - How have your debts affected you?
    • #1
    • 8th May 15, 11:26 AM
    Debt and Mental Health - How have your debts affected you? 8th May 15 at 11:26 AM
    Hi everyone,

    As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 next week (11-17 May), we!!!8217;re supporting Stepchange Debt Charity and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in highlighting how debt can play a large part in mental health issues.

    We have a free Mental Health and Debt guide available for anyone to download so if you're struggling please do take a look!

    Has being in debt caused you stress and anxiety?

    We're launching a poll to see how many of you have had mental health issues. We've kept responses private so other forum users won't see who's voted in the poll. If you'd like to reply below and discuss that would be great but don't feel you have to.

    Join the forum to vote in the poll and join the conversation: join.

    Mental Health Awareness Week Twitter Chat Wed 13 May, 11am

    We're hosting a twitter chat with StepChange Debt Charity and the Mental Health Foundation this Wednesday: Twitter Chat
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 08-05-2015 at 12:08 PM.
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Page 7
    • MissG80
    • By MissG80 8th Feb 18, 10:12 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    MissG80
    It has definitely caused me worry and anxiety at times. Also a feeling of trudgery. I posted elsewhere that I have been supporting a family member with mental illness (brother) with their debt. He was always getting calls from companies he owed money to and then my Dad started receiving them too and it was only then we started to realise how bad it was, There are two things I will never see happen to my brother which are he become homeless again or drug/alcohol addiction, so it was fortunate in a way that there had been some mix up with his housing payment and he was being threatened with eviction, so I went with him to the Council when he had a support worker meeting to sort it, and was there when she suggested Step Change. At his next meeting they looked at the website together and he liked the idea. I sold it to him on the basis that the phone calls will stop. He eventually called them and they did the budget with him. He got a reference number to give companies when they called to say he was with step change and eventually all the calls stopped. When he was talking about his money problems he said that his benefits had been changed from weekly to monthly payments and he found it hard to budget. I suggested he could have his benefit paid to me and I would make twice weekly payments to him. Initially he was hesitant but the plusses outweighed his doubts and he said he wanted to. Been doing that for a few months now and he says it is a god send. I found out over Christmas he had missed some debt payments so we switched that over too. I'm really proud of him for taking positive steps. I think focusing on helping someone else has been positive for me too. Definitely think talking and getting it out in the open is the best advice X
    • MarrtyGH1369
    • By MarrtyGH1369 10th Feb 18, 11:49 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    MarrtyGH1369
    I believe that my mental health issues are mostly to blame for my debt. It sounds like a cop out but I have schizophrenia. My GP says that's what I've got. I have pretty extreme visual and auditory hallucinations as well as going through phases where I don't know who I am or thinking that I'm someone else... I also suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in my right arm and leg. Although incredibly painful (I have broken my neck twice, my right wrist and ankle, I have had shrapnel wounds to my back and left leg... none of those come close to the pain of CRPS) it is actually a bit of a blessing as I can't walk far unaided and unattended (if someone knocks my arm or leg with moderate force it can trigger a kind of fit where I will collapse and lose consciousness) so the combination of both conditions means that I can't go anywhere on my own now, if I could, I would be in much more debt!
    I was with the community mental health team but I had a lot of trouble attending appointments. Then one day I got a letter (which I kept and have shown to many people, including my Tory MP who is adamant that mental health is adequately funded) saying that the community mental health team couldn't afford to treat me any more.
    I have severe memory relapses, I don't remember large parts of the last 8 years!
    I also have a habit of spending money I don't have or shouldn't spend during an episode, when I get down it seems that spending money on useless things makes me feel better. This is where credit is such a demon for me.
    The worst thing for me personally is that there is no way that someone wouldn't know there is something wrong with me when I'm having a bad few months (or when my medication is working differently, I use 2 100mcg fentanyl patches every 3 days for the CRPS ) as the signs are very obvious. I doubt that someone selling credit would sell to a drunk person (at least, I hope not) but they used to throw credit agreements at me.
    When get debt collectors letters through and I don't remember what it's for/don't recognise the debt, it can feel like I am being exploited. It makes me very paranoid.

    I also suffer from severe anxiety so those debt collectors letters dropping on my door mat will generally trigger a 4-6 month long episode of enhanced versions of my conditions.

    It's a very sad/frustrating predicament because I am an intelligent person, I used to be very physically fit and strong, confident, outgoing, friendly. Now I am the absolute reverse of all of those things 95% of the time.
    I genuinely don't understand why my better half bothers with me, every time another debt collectors letter drops on to the door mat, I have failed my family again. It's a very difficult and upsetting position to be in.
    Last edited by MarrtyGH1369; 10-02-2018 at 11:53 AM.
    • Robots
    • By Robots 12th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 730 Thanks
    Robots
    Along with the shame and stress that debts bring, one of the hardest things for me was the anxiety I felt every time the post came: would there be another red letter?
    Veteran gamer and clean freak
    • Emm1279
    • By Emm1279 13th Feb 18, 10:23 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Emm1279
    Hi

    I am currently suffering MH due to bullying at workplace and signed off for stress anxiety and panic attack
    Recently about 2 to 3 weeks afo I signed up online learning college to do some courses. Due to my ill health I am unable to continue or start the courses as I need to get my health back.Upon trying to cancel and stating the reason why the online college has refused outright to even look into the matter with compassion or empathy. Simply I got an email saying If I do not keep up with payments they will instruct debt collector / agents and threatened CCJ
    Is there no duty of care am so shocked as the MD was so rude and nasty and came across very intimidating and bullyish. I signed up for Counselling CBT and Mental Health Awareness and find it so worrying they dont actually care about these issues only interested in the money making. Anyone got any advise please ?
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 15th Feb 18, 7:37 PM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 1,969 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    Emma1279 maybe try writing to them to explain and see if your gp or counsellor would write a supporting letter. I really believe debt and poor mental health are linked. Sometimes debt causes poor mental health and other times it the poor mental health that causes the debt.
    My story is I hid debt from my husband. He was suffering from poor mental health and I didn't want to worry him so I tried to handle the finances myself. I didn't do a good job in that we were behind on everything and I even had pay day loans. He worked so hard but we had high living and travel costs and he felt that he was working and had nothing to show for it. He had low self esteem believing he wasn't doing enough to provide. I tried to buy nice food for him before getting stuff for me. If an unexpected bill came I'd hide it. Id treat us to a takeaway etc but it was borrowed money. I used to worry about the lights going off ( id sneak outside at night to check the meter!) and the car being towed. I'd already planned if I could hide it somewhere. I hid letters, unplugged the phone etc It was wrong but with the right intentions I suppose! I'm lucky I didn't suffer badly myself, it was a stressful time.
    Things can change though. There is always hope.
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 20th Feb 18, 3:05 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 488 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    For me the two are inextricably linked. I have always had bad anxiety, and have hidden my MH ups and downs from my immediate family to protect them from it; without going into any detail they have quite enough to deal with.
    Most of my debts were accrued during two very stressful phases in my life, one work-related, one physical health-related. The second ran on from the first, and both had a huge impact on my ability to cope with day-to-day things and think rationally; I was struggling with everything, and let problems and terrible decisions pile up, resulting in a ridiculous amount of unsecured debt (unfortunately I had impeccable credit at the time and stupidly high credit limits). The worse it got, the less able I was to cope with everything.
    The guilt and shame for getting myself in this situation, and the resulting stress and anxiety still hit me in waves even though overall I have turned it around and am fighting my way out. On a good day I am positive and proactive, on a bad day the anxiety absolutely cripples me; I feel totally overwhelmed and isolated and struggle to think about anything except worst-case scenarios. It can be exhausting.
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 20-02-2018 at 3:14 PM.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33010.10 (28369.26 on CCs) Paid: 27.4% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 65.67% DFD: August 2021
    • MGF86
    • By MGF86 1st Mar 18, 5:16 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MGF86
    I'm currently £6,500 in debt on credit cards and overdraft.

    In 2015, I was debt free. I never had a credit card until I was 29 and the only reason I got it was to improve my credit rating because I had a £15 fee owed to 3mobile that I had no idea about for 3 years. I only discovered about this debt when I was applying for a loan to go back to University to do a Masters degree in Psychology as I had ambitions to become a Psychiatrist. I used MSE to get the right card for me to improve my credit rating and I was on track after a year until my mental health started to collapse. I ended up moving back to London and took a paycut in a new job which meant I used the credit card to fund myself to live (food, rent, travel) for a year. However, my mental health was still unstable and I started to spend more than I should when I was low or anxious. With the help of MSE again I managed to do a balance transfer to prevent me from charges once the 0% interest ended. Unfortunately, my mental health got even worse and I was spending recklessly during long durations of poor mental health. It has escalated ever since.

    When I think back to 2015, I wonder what happened because I used to be extremely cautious and savvy with my finances. This is why I believe more support, research, and education should be encouraged for this area. Dare I say it, credit card companies are benefiting from the mentally ill.

    I often wonder if mental health checks should be part of the application process for credit cards. When I was at one of my lowest points, I was able to apply for a 2nd and then a 3rd credit card once I reached my max amount and now find myself in a huge mess.
    • Lingy1978
    • By Lingy1978 1st Mar 18, 7:22 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lingy1978
    Hey everyone! Iím a mess. Mental health issues literally all my life steaming from some pretty traumatic experiences. Looking into an Iva at the moment. Iím so disgusted with myself for getting in such a mess
    • charolettepope
    • By charolettepope 5th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    charolettepope
    @immoral_angeluk Do you imply that having a credit card can lead to debt? I have been thinking of getting a credit card. Now seeing your post in the thread makes me re-think. Its natural for one to spend a bit while having credit card. Please share more about your experiences of using a credit card.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 5th Mar 18, 2:22 PM
    • 14,360 Posts
    • 13,547 Thanks
    sourcrates
    @immoral_angeluk Do you imply that having a credit card can lead to debt? I have been thinking of getting a credit card. Now seeing your post in the thread makes me re-think. Its natural for one to spend a bit while having credit card. Please share more about your experiences of using a credit card.
    Originally posted by charolettepope
    Do not get one, one becomes two, two quickly becomes 3 and 4 then 5, before long you have numerous cards, and are several thousand pounds in debt.

    Just read any of the post`s on this forum from people in debt, most of their debt is on credit cards, sometimes into the tens of thousands.

    Why do you think credit cards are offered to people in the first place ?

    Because they make the banks millions of pounds in interest and charges, they are good money spinners, because people being people, will overspend on them, the banks know this, so they plug them with all there might, take it from one who had over 50k on various cards at one point..........stay well clear !!
    Last edited by sourcrates; 29-04-2018 at 5:28 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • Lapua65
    • By Lapua65 11th Mar 18, 10:16 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Lapua65
    I must admit, finding this thread has amazed me. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for about 25 years and in that time I have also been a financial disaster. I can pretty much put all of my severe bouts of anxiety and depression down to money. Spending money gets me momentary relief, but then it accumulates and I get severely depressed again. It is as everyone says a vicious cycle. What really upsets me is the number of times I have got on top of it all and then over time let it turn into a monster. I am now doing what I do every time by using 0% credit cards to try and control and still using the old cards. I need help, but I have only just started looking. I am lucky in as much as I have a good income, but if anything happened to my job I would be in dire problems. That makes it worse as I then get totally anxious about losing my job and start making mistakes at work.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 29th Apr 18, 5:29 PM
    • 14,360 Posts
    • 13,547 Thanks
    sourcrates
    I must admit, finding this thread has amazed me. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for about 25 years and in that time I have also been a financial disaster. I can pretty much put all of my severe bouts of anxiety and depression down to money. Spending money gets me momentary relief, but then it accumulates and I get severely depressed again. It is as everyone says a vicious cycle. What really upsets me is the number of times I have got on top of it all and then over time let it turn into a monster. I am now doing what I do every time by using 0% credit cards to try and control and still using the old cards. I need help, but I have only just started looking. I am lucky in as much as I have a good income, but if anything happened to my job I would be in dire problems. That makes it worse as I then get totally anxious about losing my job and start making mistakes at work.
    Originally posted by Lapua65
    Hi,
    You can always contact one of the free debt charities for help in tackling your debt.

    The links are in my signature.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • FTBNow
    • By FTBNow 21st May 18, 5:07 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    FTBNow
    My mental health (depression and ongoing anxiety) definitely contributed to my debt problems over the years: my mum fell quite ill seven years ago and her and my dad split up not long after. I was an impressionable graduate who had just got into a £20,000+ job and had fee-free overdrafts and credit cards thrown at me left, right and centre: needless to say I couldn't resist.

    Fortunately I did just stick to the one credit card and got a few items on finance (iPad, car, iPhone). Looking back the debts were really manageable and minimal (about £4,500 minus the car) but I just used to blow my wages on clothes, video games: anything that would make me feel better. Before I knew it it was 3 days after I'd been paid and my money would be gone. It was utterly stupid and reckless.

    Sertraline and CBT was a god send, I clawed my way out of my debt and haven't gotten into any since. I realised no amount of new clothing was worth the stress and material possessions didn't make me that happy anyway. If ever friends talk about getting credit cards or overdrafts I swear them off it. Colleagues have even spoken to me about having a credit card for housing emergencies only but my advice is just don't do it: been there once, never again.
    My goals:
    1 x iPhone finance to pay off by July. Current balance: £628.
    4 x NSDís per week
    • paulx132
    • By paulx132 21st May 18, 7:19 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    paulx132
    I think my debts added to my mental health problems.

    I,ve suffered from depression and anxiety for years but am managing it much better now.


    I started gambling at the age of 12 when my family moved to Blackpool. I was always in debt to my parents or brother and sister after constantly stealing from them to feed my addiction.

    I left home at 16 and continued to gamble which caused all sorts of money problems - mainly not being able to keep up with rent which resulted in me being homeless for periods of time.

    The only thing which really stopped my gambling was getting addicted to heroin in my early 20,s as i,d found something more important to spend my money on.


    When the internet came out a few years later i got every loan and credit card i could even if it meant lying on my applications.

    I didn,t really care at the time about having these debts and the bailiffs coming round as i had nothing they could take anyway.

    It wasn,t until my late 30,s when i started to get help for my addictions and ended up going to rehab for 6 months. I realised then i had to sort my life out and would include all the debts i,d incurred over the years.

    Once you wake up from heroin addiction and stay clean you have to face up to everything you,ve done in the past which is very stressful to say the least. I started to open my letters and with the help off a debt advisor from my local council i started to pay them off one by one.

    Its taken a few years but i am now debt free - well i thought i was until this morning when i received an old debt letter - hence the reason i joined this site.


    I am now in a much better position to deal with it though and certainly won,t let it worry me as i have done over the last few years. I actually like receiving post nowadays as i know its not bills and debt letters. Like others have mentioned i didn,t open mail for years.


    I can,t explain the feeling when you,ve been in debt all your life and you finally face the debts and deal with them . Such a relief

    I am still very wary about what i spend my money on. (probably too much) My girlfriend wanted to go on holiday last year but i just couldn,t justify spending the money. All i want to do now is save

    PS - My only bit of advice to people is - if your worrying about your debts don,t bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away.(Theres loads of help out there nowadays) Its the worry that adds to or causes mental health problems imo -
    Last edited by paulx132; 21-05-2018 at 7:27 PM.
    • sniggle
    • By sniggle 28th May 18, 12:16 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sniggle
    Hi
    I have PTSD, major depressive disorder, insomnia and Borderline Personality Disorder.
    I have been sectioned twice (once voluntarily) and a few serious suicide attempts.

    I am a qualified teacher and was bullied at work once they knew my condition. With my unions support I left with a settlement but had a major relapse with my mental health. I had to take just under a year off work. My psychiatrist and recovery worker first said I was unfit to work and as time went on was told I could work part time. I funded some of this time with the settlement until I ran out of money.

    I claimed benefits and tried to get on the council housing list as I rent a 1 bed flat and it was far too expensive as I wasn't working. I don't have young children and a phone call with the council resulted in them telling me it was my own fault for renting a more expensive flat. It isn't expensive, it's just that the rent includes water and electricity. This lead to rent arrears and bill arrears. I was going round in circles and sinking further down.

    In January this year, I grabbed myself by the heels and registered with a supply agency to see how I would cope. I loved it. The trouble with supply is that you don't get paid for school holidays, bank holidays, polling day (we had one) and I didn't get paid for a snow day we had, plus it's weekly pay.

    I have now secured a full time job from September and have been in touch with Stepchange. I have £25000 debt. With half term now (no pay) and the 6 week holiday looming (no pay) I am not coping well.

    I am almost 50 and single. I just don't see anything getting better. Yes I have a full time job coming but it will still take tears and years to pay off the debt. I have no sizeable pension so will have to work til I drop. I'm struggling to see the point. I keep being told that things will get better but I just can't see it. I will have no spare money for the foreseeable future, no pension as such. I'm starting to sink again and I've only just come back up.

    Everything links to each other. Mental health worsened by debt and other things. Debt won't get better so mental health worsens. It's a viscious circle .

    I just don't know how to see any positives for the future.
    • anfieldred
    • By anfieldred 5th Jun 18, 12:54 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 2,598 Thanks
    anfieldred
    I dont think it can be under-estimated how damaging this can be to people's lives. I'm waiting on a remortgage application that has dragged on for weeks, I'm not sleeping because of it as it will help clear debt, am getting nowhere with them, been rejected by other lenders, now I'm getting radio silence from them. I've been considering withdrawing my application and accepting defeat, and selling the house and trying to start again
    • MissG80
    • By MissG80 6th Jun 18, 6:59 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    MissG80
    I remember getting my student loan and spending it on a stereo from Richer Sounds (lasted for years), that was my one big spend and worked part time through Uni but still had to go to the hardship fund and maxed out my overdraft. I was very lucky as I had a lucrative waitressing job so could pay it off.


    I spent my 20s doing not very well paid jobs, eventually it picked up but now I have a stressful job so I am always over spending, currently down to about £6k to repay. It's hard not to feel a bit hard done by modern society sometimes. You just want enough to spend, enough to live, enough to save. Doesn't have to be extravagant. I just can't wait to be rid of the debt once and for all.
    • MissG80
    • By MissG80 6th Jun 18, 7:08 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    MissG80
    Hi
    I have PTSD, major depressive disorder, insomnia and Borderline Personality Disorder.
    I have been sectioned twice (once voluntarily) and a few serious suicide attempts.

    I am a qualified teacher and was bullied at work once they knew my condition. With my unions support I left with a settlement but had a major relapse with my mental health. I had to take just under a year off work. My psychiatrist and recovery worker first said I was unfit to work and as time went on was told I could work part time. I funded some of this time with the settlement until I ran out of money.

    I claimed benefits and tried to get on the council housing list as I rent a 1 bed flat and it was far too expensive as I wasn't working. I don't have young children and a phone call with the council resulted in them telling me it was my own fault for renting a more expensive flat. It isn't expensive, it's just that the rent includes water and electricity. This lead to rent arrears and bill arrears. I was going round in circles and sinking further down.

    In January this year, I grabbed myself by the heels and registered with a supply agency to see how I would cope. I loved it. The trouble with supply is that you don't get paid for school holidays, bank holidays, polling day (we had one) and I didn't get paid for a snow day we had, plus it's weekly pay.

    I have now secured a full time job from September and have been in touch with Stepchange. I have £25000 debt. With half term now (no pay) and the 6 week holiday looming (no pay) I am not coping well.

    I am almost 50 and single. I just don't see anything getting better. Yes I have a full time job coming but it will still take tears and years to pay off the debt. I have no sizeable pension so will have to work til I drop. I'm struggling to see the point. I keep being told that things will get better but I just can't see it. I will have no spare money for the foreseeable future, no pension as such. I'm starting to sink again and I've only just come back up.

    Everything links to each other. Mental health worsened by debt and other things. Debt won't get better so mental health worsens. It's a viscious circle .

    I just don't know how to see any positives for the future.
    Originally posted by sniggle

    Make sure your repayments to Step Change are affordable. Factor in everything, times when you don't work, worst case scenarios, if you don't have emergency savings put them in your budget too. You need to be able to have a life while repaying your debts, the companies can wait. If you want to repay debts quicker do it by saving then making full and final offers, then it's a bonus not a noose round your neck. If any of your debts relate to periods when you were unwell (interest charges while you were sectioned, increased credit limits when clearly you weren't making repayments) it's worth a shot at doing some research to see if you get any reductions.
    • Rosebud38
    • By Rosebud38 12th Jun 18, 7:23 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Rosebud38
    Severe Anxiety
    Every day I go to work and try and put a smile on my face. I need my job, I love my job but I am in a constant state of high anxiety and sick with worry constantly. Iíve had anxiety since my little brother died 13 years ago but this last year since my debt started its become almost unbearable. Iím not sure how Iím functioning on a minute by minute basis at the moment. But I must. I need my job even more now than ever before for emotional and financial reasons. Itís the only place I donít feel like a total failure.
    • Marge1616
    • By Marge1616 14th Jun 18, 1:20 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Marge1616
    Help with Debt
    I really need some help. My son has been with Natwest for years and a lot of the time even struggled to pay the one bill that comes from his account (his mobile phone bill). Natwest has seen it fit to increase his overdraft to 2750 since Nov 2017 when he only gets paid 1100 a month. He has now got himself in a state about this which has now ended in him suffering from depression and said he has contemplated suicide, he is only 23 .

    I have read their responsible lending leaflet and it states ďWe will lend responsibly and aim to provide a product that is affordable for youĒ I am really upset that they as a bank have gone against their own guidelines and contributed to him having a mental health issue.

    I wondered if you could advise the steps if any in trying to get this sorted.
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