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@.

    • 12kunemployed
    • By 12kunemployed 20th Apr 17, 3:51 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    I'm 16k in debt, barely employed struggling to stay afloat.
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 17, 3:51 PM
    I'm 16k in debt, barely employed struggling to stay afloat. 20th Apr 17 at 3:51 PM

    Long time listener, first time caller.

    I've been doing some maths today, to look at actually how much I owe and what on earth I can do about it. I'm lost.

    I recently lost a well paid job (well 26k, so not amazing but not terrible) through no fault of my own, I was just pulled into the office one morning and told that was it, escorted from the building like a criminal, and that was that, no warning, had never put a foot out of place, couple of toes here and there in the line of duty however. I think this is what's stopping me getting another job, during interviews (of which, I'm getting loads!) when they ask what happened in my previous employ, I tell them and you can actually see them switch off. I don't know how else to say I was sacked for no reason than saying exactly that. I have reached the referencing stage twice, and been told I wasn't successful, so I wonder if my previous employer is submitting bad references (for what I don't know, I made them half a million quid in 18 months, took a company that was making a huge loss month on month and made it into something!)

    Currently, I'm just doing anything I can to get a few pennies through the door to help keep my creditors off my back, this includes:

    Recurring Income:
    An evening takeaway delivery job - between 30 and 60 a night (dependant on how busy it is) 6 days per week.
    Amazon Flex Partner - ~70 per shift (4hrs) I'm lucky to receive one shift a week.

    Extra when I can find it:
    Odd jobs (web dev, cycle repair, DIY, Tip runs, cleaning, lawn mowing etc) as and when, maybe 20 a week if I'm lucky
    Selling my belongings - I'm downgrading things and selling the stuff which is better.

    On a good week I'll make around 220

    Every day I spend 80% of my non working time searching, applying and calling potential employers. I apply for around 1-200 jobs a day (always in fields I'm interested in/qualified for, not applying for just anything!) to find something more permanent/better paid!

    My debts are as follows:

    Lloyds Platinum Current acc overdraft: 939.45
    Lloyds Loan: 2343.72
    Lloyds CC: 3173.00
    118 Money Loan: 3117.80
    Paypal Credit: 2599.03
    Creation Finance: 524.00
    Provident Personal Credit: 2200 (ex interest)
    Student Loan overpayment debt 800
    University of Portsmouth 625

    16,322 total owed.

    Since Signing on the electoral roll, I'm getting constant letters from creditors back from when I was 18 (I'm 25 now) chasing very old debts of less than 300, there is probably around 5-6 of these ranging from 120-290, however upon researching I think these might be statute barred so unenforceable.

    My ongoing expenses:
    Rent 750.00 PCM
    Car related expenses exc fuel/repairs: 90 PCM
    Fuel 60 per week (I do around 800 miles a week for both delivery jobs and attending interviews etc)
    Food 5 per week (I don't eat other than an evening meal, which is a curry and rice free from work, which I share with my partner)
    Baby related expenses (milk, nappies, Childcare etc) After Child benefit, I add around 10 per week.
    Phone Bill 60 PCM.

    My partner has a weekend job and is at university. Her weekend work covers our utility bills and her personal bills. We are bound to a contract with the university nursery for childcare, meaning even if my daughter isn't in we still have to pay it.

    I'm running out of things to sell, I've tried to be as thorough as possible, if there is anything I've missed, please don't hesitate to ask

    Any advice greatly received.
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 20th Apr 17, 4:31 PM
    • 14,041 Posts
    • 13,302 Thanks
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 4:31 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 4:31 PM
    As regards the "old" debts.

    You must write and inform them they are statute barred, don't just assume they become unenforceable, they don't, unless you write and tell them so.

    You could end up with various CCJ's by default if you ignore them, so it's important to follow correct procedure.
    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 Any views are mine and not the official line of

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see :
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 20th Apr 17, 5:06 PM
    • 1,150 Posts
    • 863 Thanks
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:06 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:06 PM
    Sorry to hear about your tough times! Make sure that you are receiving all the benefits you can; this can be done easily with

    It still will help to see your household SOA, check this form out:

    You should also reach out to one of the debt charities and look to get into DMP as soon as possible, staying afloat and well fed is more important than credit history.

    And I admire your drive, doing anything you possibly can - very well done! Can you tell a bit more about your work experience, and what was your previous role? As for how to tackle it - start by reaching out to the former employer and clarify what's going on. And if they don't want to provide you with a positive reference, which seems to be the case, just say so before it gets to the referencing area and points them at your even earlier employer instead.
    What you can also do is reduce yourself from volume application to quality one. Research a company, find whoever is hiring there and write a direct email to that person asking for a job. Tell your story - in human terms, and how you could help them resolve problems XYZ that you think that they are facing. And take my word that it does work, check out Liz guidance on that subject:

    As you can also do web dev work, why not try ? The rates are low, as you are competing with masses of people, but it will pay something and help you build an online portfolio.
    Last edited by Arleen; 20-04-2017 at 5:09 PM.
    • 12kunemployed
    • By 12kunemployed 20th Apr 17, 5:28 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:28 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:28 PM
    Thanks sourcrates I'll certainly look into sending off statute barred letters as and when I receive requests for money for old debts, I didn't realise there was a formal process, and I now do!


    These things happen! I just need to keep trying to be positive! It's hard when it feels like everything is against you! I've recently had my first appointment at the job centre and I'm waiting to hear back about a claim. I left it a couple of months, I hate the stigma that surrounds JSA claimants and didn't want to be a part of it, which is a horrible thing to say isn't it? Now however I have no option.

    I will fill out the soa this evening after work is done, it's a little hard on a phone!

    What is DMP?

    I've been in the cycle trade for the past 6 years since flunking out of university (no money, ex partner ruining my life etc) in that time I've been a basic bike mechanic which rose to be part owner of the shop I worked at to my previous employ which was running a bike brand importing from China and selling in the UK. A 75 hour working week wasn't uncommon in all 3 of the jobs I've had, I'm really quite multi skilled, with areas of expertise ranging from computer repair, software (android arduino and Web development) carpentry, vehicle & appliance repair, electronics gardening, cooking, know a lot of stuff about a lot of things.

    I'll take a look at the link regarding applications and peoplebyhour when home
    • 12kunemployed
    • By 12kunemployed 20th Apr 17, 5:48 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:48 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:48 PM
    I should probably add to this, I'm not late on anything, all of my bills and payments are completely up to date and being paid on credit cards or overdraft at the moment, obviously that will run out eventually.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 20th Apr 17, 5:56 PM
    • 1,150 Posts
    • 863 Thanks
    • #6
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:56 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:56 PM
    On the debt side best give stepchange a call as they can listen to your specific case and recommend how to act. They do it in very supportive and non-judgemental way and will guide you through your options and their potential consequences.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 20th Apr 17, 6:09 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 3,925 Thanks
    • #7
    • 20th Apr 17, 6:09 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Apr 17, 6:09 PM
    If you are applying for 100 jobs a day you'd be far better cutting this down and tailoring each application. At best you're spending 5 to 10 minutes on each one, which implies you're sending off the same old cv to everyone. Look at the person spec, make sure your application addresses all the essential criteria, and only then press the submit button.

    Good luck with the job hunt.
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 20th Apr 17, 6:29 PM
    • 9,653 Posts
    • 121,957 Thanks
    • #8
    • 20th Apr 17, 6:29 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Apr 17, 6:29 PM
    How long had you been in your job, before you were called in and sacked?

    If you were there for over 2 years, you might be able to claim un fair dismissal against your old company
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky start date 29.01.18 28 to go / -10 so far and counting!!
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 20th Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • 1,150 Posts
    • 863 Thanks
    • #9
    • 20th Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    How long had you been in your job, before you were called in and sacked?

    If you were there for over 2 years, you might be able to claim unfair dismissal against your old company
    Originally posted by kazwookie
    Without any evidence of unfair conduct, and getting fired without understanding the reason doesn't mean it was unfair, OP would likely be throwing 1200 quid down the drain by bringing it to a tribunal.
    • 12kunemployed
    • By 12kunemployed 20th Apr 17, 8:53 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    I was never actually given a reason, however I'd only been there 18 months so don't have a leg to stand on!
    • patman99
    • By patman99 20th Apr 17, 10:03 PM
    • 8,195 Posts
    • 9,653 Thanks
    OP, easy, when you are asked about why you left your previous job, tell them it was a fixed term contract. 18 months is the average length of a FTC.

    As for the debts, depending on your job requirements, you could consider a DMP or a DRO. Stepchange (or any other debt charity) will be able to help you out.
    Never Knowingly Understood.

    Member #1 of 1,000 challenge - 1000/ 1000 (that's 100%)

    3-6 month EF 631.65/3600 (that's 10 days worth)

    Do you/your spouse earn less than 197 p/w ?. Fill-in Form R85 and get your Bank interest Tax free.
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 20th Apr 17, 11:09 PM
    • 816 Posts
    • 1,049 Thanks
    Have you spoken to an employment lawyer about this? I was also under the impression that (this might just be for my job in education sector) that previous employers cannot give you bad references? I wouldn't stand in court and testify to that but just something I thought was true?
    I admire your drive also!
    End Sep 2016 End Apr 2018
    8236.57 0
    (Tesco 4.8%) 0pcm
    6185.75 0(Zopa 4.0%) 0pcm

    1630.04 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) 140pcm
    2000.00 [B]266.71/B] (Sister 0%) 133.33pcm

    Total debt
    19.766.82 1896.75 Original DFD May 2019.
    • venison
    • By venison 20th Apr 17, 11:14 PM
    • 2,057 Posts
    • 2,202 Thanks
    OP I'd speak to step change (debt charity) and ask about the possibility of a DRO (debt relief order). Unless your car is worth more than 1000 (?) it could clear your debts in months with no more payments, if you do go down that route open a basic bank account (a few banks do them).
    Ex Board Guide
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 21st Apr 17, 6:31 AM
    • 6,834 Posts
    • 40,019 Thanks
    determined new ms
    I don't have any advice but wanted to say I was sacked suddenly in 2015. I also had no warning, was called into a meeting and then was told they were terminating my contract and could I leave now. This had a massive impact on me, and I struggled with what to say to prospective employers. In the end I just said my contract came to an end. I've now been in my current job 8 months and it is all water under the bridge now but I can relate to how difficult this situation is. Keep going you'll get through this and in time it'll just be another part of your story that no one really needs to know about
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling 2017 3016.55/Roadkill 8.73
    Wombling 2018 145.73/RK 0.04
    • luvsmoothies
    • By luvsmoothies 21st Apr 17, 9:28 AM
    • 522 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    I might be wrong(probably is the case) but I heard that a person is legally entitled to see references written about them. If the OP thinks they are unfair and/or inaccurate then he can take it further. Additionally is there another employer prior to this one that would give a more favourable reference ?
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 21st Apr 17, 9:34 AM
    • 19,141 Posts
    • 19,612 Thanks
    Yes, I'd be trying to see references as well. I might even knock up some official looking stationery and ask for a reference from a friend's address.......
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of

    The good folk of the matched betting board are now (I hope!) supporting Macmillan, in memory of Fifigrace. Visit
    • Spatton
    • By Spatton 21st Apr 17, 1:00 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    As an employer, I tend to treat references with a pinch of salt - purely to confirm somebody worked somewhere when they said they did. Legislation (is supposed) to prevent any referee offering a subjective opinion of the person they refer to so will often only state facts such as dates of employment and amount of sickness / absence.

    Keep looking - someone will recognise your drive. I have previously employed people with criminal records (they were some of the best employees ever BTW in terms of being conscientious and reliable), and other shall we say 'chequered' employment histories because I was satisfied as to their genuine intent and work ethic. Life happens. Agree that you should try and tailor your applications and also make it known to friends and family that you're looking. Personal recommendations (not the same as references) count for a lot.
    • Gladioli
    • By Gladioli 21st Apr 17, 2:17 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    In relation to the references do a subject access request for this information to both your ex-employer and the people to whom the reference has been given. They can make a charge for this but I believe at present it is limited to 10.00 (however I think that may change) They are holding personal data on you and you have a right to see what is written, if you don't get any joy, go to the ICO.

    Details of SAR below

    Be specific as to what you want and make sure it is a reasonable request. You could also include a request for any and all information which resulted in your dismissal.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 22nd Apr 17, 3:51 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 812 Thanks
    I was also under the impression that (this might just be for my job in education sector) that previous employers cannot give you bad references?
    Originally posted by zippygeorgeandben
    Even in your job you can legally get a bad reference, however if you take them to court and it's found to be inaccurate then they are scared it will be classed as misleading and they will lose.

    I believe your new employer can also bring a court case against your old employer for making a misleading statement if they give a good reference when a bad reference was deserved.
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

3,728Posts Today

4,270Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line?

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin