Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    topsyhenri
    hummm, I'm scared.
    • #1
    • 23rd Apr 09, 1:57 AM
    hummm, I'm scared. 23rd Apr 09 at 1:57 AM
    Been lurking here for ages and reading all the posts.

    I'm too scared to face up to my debts; I have no money anyway, (I'm a mature student with children), so what difference does it make..?

    My credit rating is shot to pieces, I can't afford to pay them all what they want - I can barely afford to feed the family, petrol and pay the rent let alone anything else.

    I have one pair of shoes that are falling to bits, my jeans have just died, I can't buy the kids the things they need - they both only have one pair of shoes that they have to wear for everything.

    I haven't got the money to let my son go on his "last year of primary school" week's trip away to Hayling Island but am going to have to find it somehow because I couldn't live with myself if he missed that. I asked if they would let me pay little bits a week - they suggested 10.00 a week....yeah right. That's food for us all per week. I was thinking more like 2/week.

    My 11 year old car is making weird noises, I really need it, (because of where we are), but have no money to fix it, and no breakdown cover for when if does break down. God know's what I'll do when it does eventually go, there's no way I could afford the bus fares to get the children to school every day, let alone me getting to Uni.

    My cat is ill, and I cancelled the pet insurance about 2 years ago due to lack of money; had to go to the vet and "beg" them to see her, even though I had no money. Don't qualify for PDSA because I'm a student. And now I owe them money as well as every body else. But bless them so much for seeing her. :-(

    I haven't paid my 2 credit cards, old bank account, weird student account, e-on gas&elec bill hasn't been paid for about 12 months. Parking tickets, I haven't claimed tax credits for the last year because they said I owed them 2900 - how, I don't know, because I was nothing but honest with. So apparently I still owe them 2900.

    My ex's father pays our council tax. I love him.. Apparently I owe 500 to our landlord for an old british gas bill, (not sure how, thought it was up-to-date when I swapped it from him to me), 250 approx combined water bill on my old house, (again, thought that was paid off when we moved out)... there's probably more but I can't think about it all.

    I have paid nothing apart from rent, food, petrol and essentials for over 12 months. I'm really scared. I have horrible letters coming in on a daily basis that I just can't open. There's no point, I can't afford them anyway. Baliffs have come round - I want to stop the children from playing outside in the garden because they leave the door unlocked and a baliff could get in if I'm not there to see who comes down the path. I can't tell the children why.

    What on earth do I do?

    I had severe depression last year, and am suffering to a lesser extent now - I'm re-taking my 2nd year of uni because of it - I have to take things very much one step at a time or I get overwhelmed and can't cope. I know that sounds horribly wussy, but this approach is helping me cope; I get very tired too and that doesn't help.

    I have two assignments, and four exams, plus 3ft of revision, to get through, before I can even think about dealing with any of this. I'll be free of uni work at the end of May, until the middle of September.

    I want to get all the money stuff sorted then, because I really can't deal with it over the next few weeks.

    What can I do. I don't even know where the majority of the un-opened post is. How do I start, How can I make this better. I know it can't carry on with me ignoring it all. :-(

    Sorry. Thanks.


    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 28-04-2009 at 6:56 PM.
Page 1
  • GonzoAston
    • #2
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:05 AM
    • #2
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:05 AM
    Hi,

    Welcome. Alot of people here have been in the same/similar situation. Firstly, I would suggest speaking to a debt counsellor. I used CCCS on 0800 138 1111. There are alot of options for you:

    DMP - You pay a monthly fee to a company (use a charge free company) that you can easily afford. They then split the money between you creditors, and they also deal with any telephone calls and letters on your behalf.

    This is the one I know most about, as I am in one myself. You need to phone one of these companies and speak to them ASAP. Im so much happier now im in mine, its not for everyone though.

    Hope you speak to them, and get something sorted out soon.

    More people will be along to give you more advice
    I know my spelling is shocking It is alot better than it used to be though
    • gettingbetter
    • By gettingbetter 23rd Apr 09, 2:10 AM
    • 1,403 Posts
    • 2,006 Thanks
    gettingbetter
    • #3
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:10 AM
    • #3
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:10 AM
    hi topsy

    first of all make a cup of tea and calm down (easier said than done i know)
    give CCCS, PAYPLAN or CAB a call they will help you

    can you post up your SOA
    www.makesenseofcards.com/soacalc.html

    i know your feeling pretty grim but you will get all the help and support you want and need here

    there is always someone about even if you just need to rant about something

    do you have family near you who might be able to help out in the short term

    well done for posting and keep coming back

    kas xx
    br no 188 AD 17th apr 09
    mortgage free 22/5/09
    debt free 11/8/09
    #18 2 saver = sealed pot #333
    silent member of mikes mob
    i will lose weight :rolleyes: i will sort my house
    • gettingbetter
    • By gettingbetter 23rd Apr 09, 2:28 AM
    • 1,403 Posts
    • 2,006 Thanks
    gettingbetter
    • #4
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:28 AM
    • #4
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:28 AM
    Been lurking here for ages and reading all the posts.

    I'm too scared to face up to my debts; I have no money anyway, (I'm a mature student with children), so what difference does it make..? you have taken the first step by posting here. you may be scared but most of us have been in the same boat

    My credit rating is shot to pieces, I can't afford to pay them all what they want - I can barely afford to feed the family, petrol and pay the rent let alone anything else. whats a credit rating your family comes first

    I have one pair of shoes that are falling to bits, my jeans have just died, I can't buy the kids the things they need - they both only have one pair of shoes that they have to wear for everything.join the freecycle for your area you will be amazed how many people get rid of clothes and shoes for you and the kids

    I haven't got the money to let my son go on his "last year of primary school" week's trip away to Hayling Island but am going to have to find it somehow because I couldn't live with myself if he missed that. I asked if they would let me pay little bits a week - they suggested 10.00 a week....yeah right. That's food for us all per week. I was thinking more like 2/week. dont know what to suggest here unless you can ask ex FIL for loan

    My 11 year old car is making weird noises, I really need it, (because of where we are), but have no money to fix it, and no breakdown cover for when if does break down. God know's what I'll do when it does eventually go, there's no way I could afford the bus fares to get the children to school every day, let alone me getting to Uni. do you have a friend or contact thats mechanically minded

    My cat is ill, and I cancelled the pet insurance about 2 years ago due to lack of money; had to go to the vet and "beg" them to see her, even though I had no money. Don't qualify for PDSA because I'm a student. And now I owe them money as well as every body else. But bless them so much for seeing her. :-(

    I haven't paid my 2 credit cards, old bank account, weird student account, e-on gas&elec bill hasn't been paid for about 12 months. Parking tickets, I haven't claimed tax credits for the last year because they said I owed them 2900 - how, I don't know, because I was nothing but honest with. So apparently I still owe them 2900. are you getting letters from dca's might be worth sending the CCA request letter. there is a template letter on here

    My ex's father pays our council tax. I love him.. Apparently I owe 500 to our landlord for an old british gas bill, (not sure how, thought it was up-to-date when I swapped it from him to me), 250 approx combined water bill on my old house, (again, thought that was paid off when we moved out)... there's probably more but I can't think about it all. write and ask for explanation

    I have paid nothing apart from rent, food, petrol and essentials for over 12 months. I'm really scared. I have horrible letters coming in on a daily basis that I just can't open. There's no point, I can't afford them anyway. Baliffs have come round - I want to stop the children from playing outside in the garden because they leave the door unlocked and a baliff could get in if I'm not there to see who comes down the path. I can't tell the children why. what balliffs pm herbie21 she is the expert on them she will need a name and she will be able to help you

    What on earth do I do?

    I had severe depression last year, and am suffering to a lesser extent now - I'm re-taking my 2nd year of uni because of it - I have to take things very much one step at a time or I get overwhelmed and can't cope. I know that sounds horribly wussy, but this approach is helping me cope; I get very tired too and that doesn't help. your not wussy your brave and are having your LBM you have realised you cant go on like this and are now doing something about it

    I have two assignments, and four exams, plus 3ft of revision, to get through, before I can even think about dealing with any of this. I'll be free of uni work at the end of May, until the middle of September.

    I want to get all the money stuff sorted then, because I really can't deal with it over the next few weeks.

    What can I do. I don't even know where the majority of the un-opened post is. How do I start, How can I make this better. I know it can't carry on with me ignoring it all. :-(

    Sorry. Thanks.
    Originally posted by topsyhenri
    dont know what else to say
    the real expert will be around soon

    take care

    kas xx
    Last edited by gettingbetter; 23-04-2009 at 2:36 AM.
    br no 188 AD 17th apr 09
    mortgage free 22/5/09
    debt free 11/8/09
    #18 2 saver = sealed pot #333
    silent member of mikes mob
    i will lose weight :rolleyes: i will sort my house
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 23rd Apr 09, 2:36 AM
    • 23,974 Posts
    • 27,134 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    • #5
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:36 AM
    • #5
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:36 AM
    Just popped in to say hello from one mature student who has experienced depression to another! I did the whole not opening post and not answering the phone thing too, it takes on a life of it's own after a while. Is there anyone you can trust enough to be with you opening the post? There is light at the end of the tunnel, honey, keep posting here it's the best place ever with the best people ever!
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • BLUEWKD
    • By BLUEWKD 23rd Apr 09, 2:42 AM
    • 6,753 Posts
    • 96,577 Thanks
    BLUEWKD
    • #6
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:42 AM
    • #6
    • 23rd Apr 09, 2:42 AM
    hI
    I don't know if your ex's father will help you out any more but if he will, my suggestion is to go bankrupt. Drastic I know, but as soon as you do, you can clear all your debts (not bothering about that knock on the door or the post is a great weight of your shoulders I know form experience). The only prob is the cost, but as I say if you can beg or borrow the money, personally I feel it is worth it. The 1st step is the CAB who help you with the decison and fill in forms etc. There is a great deal of discussion on this on bankruptcy and living with it thread and also read this thread http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1639589

    Also read the coupons thread, can get a lot of food for hardly nothing at Tesco's and you may bea able to even get clothes and shoes at Tesco's with coupons if you take them and pay for them with your food and use coupons. Not positive about this, but can check with other couponers, check this thread http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1625199

    Just remember a lot of us have been there and ignoring everything is what we have done, but doesn't go away unfortunately. I went bankrupt in October 2008 and best thing and easiest ish thing I have done.
    Be thankful for what you have because it could all be taken away tomorrow.


  • debttornado
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 09, 6:28 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 09, 6:28 AM
    Don't panic - CCCS are really helpful. Make sure you are concentrating on the priority bills, every thing else can wait. They may threaten horrible things but you have to pay your living costs and any court would agree!

    Regarding your son's trip, can you write or talk to the school? I know that ours has a fund which covers things like school trips for those who really can't afford them (on occasions I know of schools who have also bought key items of clothing when parents are really stuck). If you make sure the school know the full picture I'm sure they will be able to help.

    When I first started to sort out my mess (which was only a couple of months ago), I put all the post into a big box. I then opened them all over a couple of days. At the moment I am sorting out the priority debts - only in writing. Once they are sorted I will move on to the others.

    Good Luck
    LB 22/2/09 Debt at LB 46216.64 Debt now 42657.28 Paid off 3559.36/46216.64 (7%)
    CTax arrears paid 1341.72/4821.85 (3480.13) 28%
    Pay off 15K by Xmas '09 3559.36/15000 24%
    1000 in 100 days 45/1000
    • tootsmyboots
    • By tootsmyboots 23rd Apr 09, 6:31 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    tootsmyboots
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 09, 6:31 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 09, 6:31 AM
    Re the school residential - I am a deputy head in a primary school and would suggest you talk to the head teacher, rather then the teacher who is organising the trip. If your financial situation is so tight your school should be able to look into accessing a hardship grant which pays for children in these circumstances so they do not miss out. SOme schools have a trust fund they can access in these situations, especially if they are faith schools. Schools are allowed to charge for extra curriculuar activities, but the letter always says that no child will be excluded in real cases of financial hardship (or words to that effect - it's early and I cant remember the exact wording!) You may have to proved them with information to support your request. DO you currently access free school meals as this should help to back up for request also.
    I will look into this further for you once I am up properly and got a coffee in me.
    • ladybez
    • By ladybez 23rd Apr 09, 7:17 AM
    • 471 Posts
    • 463 Thanks
    ladybez
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 09, 7:17 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 09, 7:17 AM
    Welcome to the boards. Everyone on here isreally supportive of anyone trying to sort out financial problems. I don't pretend to be an expert, they will be along soon. Just one suggestion, would there be any advice available through Uni? I vaguely remember there was all sorts of help available through Student services. Let us know how you go on.
    Hugs.
  • archived user
    Hi topsy, nothing to add to what has already been said except the suggestion ref Father in Law; Don't underestimate the help that you have around you such as friends and family. You may have to swallow some pride (I still havent told my family or friends) but it could provide an exit strategy for you and allow you to formulate a repayment plan with Payplan or CCCS. Post your SOA as well so people can see what your incomings and outgoings are. You must not continue to ignore everything. There is light at the beginning of the tunnel and an even brighter one at the end. Good luck and keep posting here. Len
  • helnag
    Hi,

    I'm afraid I don't have any advice to offer but just wanted to say **Big Hugs**.

    Helen
    PAD total since 27/07/09 = 60.83 - Capital One: 192.7327.00 Next catalogue: 429.00 154.00
    Welcome car HP: 6090, 3900, Welcome Loan:3370, 2660HLC #1: 907.00637.00, HLC #2: 838.00608.00
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2009 - Member #649 - Target 500...banked 119.50 already.
    • Damita
    • By Damita 23rd Apr 09, 7:55 AM
    • 341 Posts
    • 712 Thanks
    Damita
    ^ Same just wanted to show some support, you can do it hun *hugs*
    Debt Then 06.07 - 11,000 - Debt Now 0.00
    DFD Aug 2011

  • Scaredandindebt
    More support
    *Hugs* to you - I really feel for you. I've also been and done the mature student thing and it was hard enough without children.

    Have you looked into whether the University have a 'hardship fund' ? I know that I was lucky enough to get help from mine when I was struggling at Uni.

    All the very best to you and please do post your SOA. There are lots of amazing supportive people here who will do all in their power to advise you.
    Debt at lightbulb moment: 44,220. Paid off to date: 27,634 (62%)
    Halifax CC (0% 10 months):
    9,000; Zopa Loan = 7,586(36 16 payments to go) TOTAL = 16,586

    • tootsmyboots
    • By tootsmyboots 23rd Apr 09, 8:28 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    tootsmyboots
    Taken from Teachernet which is a government website with information for Headteachers and teachers on all things educational.

    Residential Trips
    Schools are permitted to charge for the cost of board and lodging during residential school trips. This cost must not exceed the actual cost of the provision.

    Where the trip takes place wholly, or mainly, during school hours children whose parents are in receipt of the following support payments will, in addition to having a free school lunch entitlement, also be entitled to the remission of these charges:
    • <LI class=MsoNormal>Income Support <LI class=MsoNormal>Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance <LI class=MsoNormal>support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 <LI class=MsoNormal>Child Tax Credit provided the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed 16 040
    • Guaranteed State Pension Credit.
    Hope this helps. Ask your school for a copy of the charging policy and also if there is any help given your financial hardship. Yes, you could offer to pay in installments, but I believe it would be unreasonable of them to exclude your child as a result of your situation.

    However this is a difficult area as obviously if too many parents do not pay, the trip will not be viable. I can only speak on behalf of my experience, but schools do not bump up the cost for each parent to cover those who can't pay.
    Sorry it didnt copy and paste the bullet points very clearly.
  • salirip
    Hello Topsy, what took you so long getting here?

    You'll get great support and advice from the people here. You've already had some and, trust me, it'll keep coming.

    Where's your kiddies dad by the way, can't he help out rather that his father?


    Big hug from me and keep your chin up as much as you can.
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 23rd Apr 09, 9:44 AM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    kezlou
    Hiya Topsy, sorry your going through a very rough spot.
    I am a mature student also with two children, this was supposed to be my last year but my financial situation cocked up big style so now have to do it again in September. Except i now have to find the money to pay the cost of the year.But they is hope just persevere. As a student you are entitled to child tax credit and free school meals as your income is less than 16 000.

    Okay first things first have you thought about speaking to a company to consolidate your debts?
    My friend was paying out 1500 a month (her husband was very ill / dying) while she was on Pension credit, left he with virtually nothing, to the point where every penny whether on the floor or in the gutter was used for bills.
    Baliffs had been round and managed to avoid them, not good i know but she didn't want her children to find out what was going on.

    Anyway she was advised to go with a company called Bains and Ernest (thinks thats the name) and she said they were absolutely brilliant. They took control all her bank loans, overdrafts, catalogue, companies like Provident and Shopacheck and arranged for her to pay a small amount to each of her debts. The ask you all sorts of questions and set a budget for you like they 300 food, 400 shoes and clothes, car insurance, pet insurance even money for holidays e.g school trips, school meals etc
    Think they have 25 standard charge on each monthly payment though.

    Anyway to cut along story short, she consolidated all her debt and Bains and Ernest said to pay 500 (that's inc they charge) a month and then we'll review it every six months to see if you can or cant afford it. Two years later she is still paying her debts off but now her payments have dropped down to 200 a month.

    She said it was the best thing she had ever done, the relief she felt was amazing, and she actually had spare money!

    Regarding tax credits, i had been over paid by them and had to 3000 back. I would reapply for them and explain your circumstances. I did this and in the end i only had to repay them back 50 a month which came straight out my tax credits. Its still a lot but it meant i still had some sort of money coming in.

    Council tax, you shouldn't have to pay because your a student.
    Ask them for a earnings form from your local housing office, cant remember the code, its were they assess your incomings and outgoings and they set a reasonable amount to pay them back.
    I did this too with them and arranged to pay 25 a month to them.

    Not sure if any of this advice is any good. Just thought i would and say they is light at the end of tunnel its just dim at the moment. I've been in the same situation as you (still am) but you have did the right thing by saying i have debt now how do i get rid of it.
    Well done for going to university and for bringing your children up so lovingly and well, you should be proud !!!!!!!

    Kez x
    • duchy
    • By duchy 23rd Apr 09, 9:57 AM
    • 18,099 Posts
    • 46,018 Thanks
    duchy
    Down to CAB with you
    You shouldn't be paying council tax at all as you are a student. You also need to talk to college about their hardship fund. As a single parent I got extra money on a discressonary basis as a mature student from college funds.
    Talk to tax credits-even if they deduct what you owe you can ask they to do it in bits so you get SOME money from them. Tell the you want a written explanation of where the overpayment occurred. They have to do this if you ask.
    Pay the vet *something* even if it's a couple of quid at a time-you never know if you may need him again
    Ask CAB about PayPlan as mentioned before.
    I know it's tough but CAB have heard it all (and worse) before and will give you good advice and point you towards a DMP at the very least.
    Think about a part time job-if you can find something working 16 hours a week you'll qualify for full tax credits (for example there are jobs working from home -I do this as I need to be around for my son-taking and processing telephone calls for the catalogue companies with very flexible hours. Obviously you need to check out what impact it would have on your rent benfit though but you could be better off-worth checking out. The job centre's single parent advisors can help you work this out.
    Oh yeah and have a hug-it is sortable-I promise-I've been there !!
    Last edited by duchy; 23-04-2009 at 10:05 AM.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • boo80
    • By boo80 23rd Apr 09, 10:03 AM
    • 459 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    boo80
    Please don't go with a fee charging company, there are debt charities who will organise it for you for free. I think you should try to get an appointment with your local CAB as soon as you can as you could do with some advice on benefits too, I think they can tell you what you're entitled to as well as the best way to deal with your creditors. Good luck Topsy, and well done for taking the 1st step to getting things under control. Boo.x
  • GeorgeUK
    Topsy, youve already done the hard part. You've stopped hiding and come out to face the debt. Now we just need to work at putting a smile on your face.

    I would suggest getting a copy of your credit report (free from experian if you cancel within 30 days) so you can see what CCJ's you have as these are priority debts and also to see what other accounts you have that will require your attention.

    For all the post that is coming though the door, i would suggest opening it all up and sorting it into piles for the various accounts. Then sort it into date order, then read through it one pile at a time. There will probably be a few nasty letters in there but alot of the time it is threats saying the MAY do something rather than they WILL. Take it one part at a time and post any questions on here. We're here for you and there are many that have been where you are now. We'll be able to advise you or suggest the best place to get advice.

    The most important part is that you are not only dealing with the problem, but that you are being seen to be dealing with it. If your creditors think you are just ignoring them, they will get more extreme rather than allowing you a chance to get everything in order. Even if it is just paying 1 a month as a token gesture, it shows a willingness to pay.

    Are you in Scotland or England?
    There are different options depending on where you are based.

    Have you had bank charges that you can claim back?
    Have you contacted CAB to see if you are claiming all you are entitled to?
    http://www.entitledto.co.uk/

    Keep posting and hopefully we'll get this sorted so that you aren't constantly afraid of what is going to happen.
    If you are unable to make payments to the bailiffs right now, you may be able to get a redetermination and reduce the amount of any CCJ.
    After falling off the gambling wagon (twice): 33,600 (24,000+ 9,600) - Original CC Debt: 7,885.91

    Dad Gift 6k Savings & Inv Tst: 2,500
    Loan 10k: 0 Dad 5.5k: 2,270 LTSB: 0 RBS: 0 Virgin 0 Egg 0

    Total Owed: 2,270 (+6k) 11/08/2011
  • archived user
    Hi Kez, great post but Bains and Ernst is the not the way to go because it charges a fee. First port of call has to be CCCS, Payplan or Nationaldebtline. Len
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

42Posts Today

3,537Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • "Sabrina, you're young. I'm not sure you've the experience I'm looking for in a business partner." Eh? Isn't the pr? https://t.co/IeTxBQq2OU

  • I am predicting the word myself will be misused 6 times in today;s boardroom. What do yourself think? #TheApprentice

  • Not sure how I ever succeeded running a successful entreprise? After all my gardening and garden design skills are? https://t.co/FFnvkjsGDU

  • Follow Martin