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  • FIRST POST
    • braken2000
    • By braken2000 16th Apr 18, 9:24 AM
    • 617Posts
    • 118Thanks
    braken2000
    Heading Towards a Problem
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 9:24 AM
    Heading Towards a Problem 16th Apr 18 at 9:24 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    Long time no post it would seem. However heading towards a problem and need some advice .

    Bit of background first:
    I live with my partner and have become a student (mature) studying a healthcare course. This lasts two years and will be straight back in to work in approximately 18 months. My partner works and will be seeing a pay rise (hopefully) in November as he will move up a grade. I work bank hours so as and when I can get them, and when I can based on placement hours. We have survived since last September through what I can only describe as luck (occasional gift from a family member, selling things on eBay etc).

    We have got to a point where we are living off credit cards which is ringing alarm bells in my head. I have historically had a DMP but got it all paid off and reserved the CC for emergencies, knowing we would use them, just not this soon in. We have approx £6k debt, and also a car loan in order to allow us to get to work/placement etc.

    My thoughts, and indeed questions are these:
    1. Obviously it is not sustainable to love off CC. We only have to make it for 18 months, and financial situation will positively change in 6 months also. Is it possible to get a really temporary DMP?
    2. We are looking to hopefully save and get a mortgage in the next 6 years. Will doing anything like a DMP affect this? Obviously concerns about defaults going on. I know they can go on the file for a long term DMP, just not sure if it would happen with a short term one?
    3. I am unable to get student finance which would have helped.
    4. I am waiting for overpaid taxes to come through (£900 ish). HMRC have told me this could be up to October when I get any sight of this.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I worked so hard to clear my debt last time and I do not want to end up in a similar position. However dropping off the course is not an option as it is a funded place which will not exist after this year (kind of like one shot and that is it).

    I can provide a more clear Statement of what is owed etc if it helps. Not been on the forums in ages but know you guys are great at helping with the not so straight forward

    Thanks
Page 3
    • braken2000
    • By braken2000 17th Apr 18, 6:32 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    braken2000
    Just spoke to StepChange now. Not as bad as I thought tbh. A lot of suggestions but I think a Token Payment Plan is the best option. It gives us a bit of breathing space and is more temporary than the other solutions (bankruptcy for example was mentioned). So now to look into the token payment a little bit more and see what it is like I guess.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 17th Apr 18, 6:50 PM
    • 2,107 Posts
    • 2,445 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    I'm not sure why everyone is skirting around the issue but it seems the obvious answer is to increase your income! You only take home £150 a month so no wonder things are tight. You don't mention children so I assume you have no childcare responsibility. Why can't you work more? Most full time courses don't require you to be present all day every day. When I was at college I worked in a shop 6pm - 8pm mon - Fri and all day sunday in another shop. I took home more than £150 and that was 20 years ago! I was paid £2.50p an hour! I
    You mention your partners pay rise etc but what about you? There are lots of part time opportunities in shops, catering, factories etc. You might not be able to decrease your outgoings but you can definitely bring more money in.
    • braken2000
    • By braken2000 17th Apr 18, 6:57 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    braken2000
    Hi fireflyaway

    One of the biggest problems is the way the course operates in terms of time in uni and time on placement. So, for example my timetable might look like this:
    Week 1=
    Monday 08:00-18:00
    Tuesday 13:00-18:00
    Wednesday Off
    Thursday 08:00-18:00
    Friday 08:00-13:00
    Week 2 -
    Monday Off
    Tuesday 13:00-18:00
    Wednesday Off
    Thursday 08:00-18:00
    Friday 08:00-13:00

    Placement blocks are similar in yes of it is following a full time shift rota on the ambulance. So whilst yes I do have spare time here and there, it is not guaranteed it is the same time every week, some weeks I am in every day and off weekends, but then others in only half a week. And on placement it could be night shifts Mon-Wed, then day shifts on Fri-Sun.

    The work I have at the moment is bank work so I can book the shifts around my timetable when I know it, and fortunately I do as I am following a rota line. I have tried to get other part time work but they want a committment of X hours per week on the same day and time every week which I can not guarantee.

    The course is also 45 weeks (not including consolidation) so get very few "long holidays" like normal students which is a pain, but part of the course.

    I have however gone through the shifts available until October and managed to get a few more which is good . Just not as much as I would like tbh.
    • Sunkencosts
    • By Sunkencosts 18th Apr 18, 11:12 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    Sunkencosts
    Hi OP, I think you're right to do token payments and take the credit hit. This course will be so important to your future the last thing you want to do is compromise it or your health by working too much outside of it.

    Having said that, have you signed up for an agency to be able to do last minute shifts in the NHS? I think it pays a lot better than hospital bank work (10/11 per hour and more at weekends from what I remember).

    Good luck with sorting this out. Take action now and you won't end up in my shoes - 47k debt eek!!
    Last edited by Sunkencosts; 18-04-2018 at 11:13 AM. Reason: .
    Savings:
    Emergency 404.38/1000 Car 200/600 Christmas 250/800 Holiday 250/600
    Grading 30/90 presents 40
    Total debt Jan 2018 53,938
    April 2018 47,780.52
    • braken2000
    • By braken2000 18th Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • 617 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    braken2000
    Hi sunkencosts

    I do not think there is anywhere for me to bank in NHS :'(. I can not go out as a tech as not driving for them yet. Private bank I have got at the moment is alright, 12 hour shifts and not bad pay. Just a long drive. But it is a job and I will not complain .
    • Sunkencosts
    • By Sunkencosts 18th Apr 18, 11:22 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    Sunkencosts
    Hi,

    oh I suppose I was thinking of care assistant/ NA work (when I was nursing training that's what fitted in well with my skill set and hours) but regular 12 hour shifts are good to have.
    How exciting being a paramedic!!
    Savings:
    Emergency 404.38/1000 Car 200/600 Christmas 250/800 Holiday 250/600
    Grading 30/90 presents 40
    Total debt Jan 2018 53,938
    April 2018 47,780.52
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 18th Apr 18, 12:22 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 1,155 Thanks
    Sncjw
    It!!!8217;s not just the shift work and then placements it!!!8217;s the additional work they need to do. They need to do coursework, work to prove they have the skills and have it signed off, revision for exams all the while on placement. Then when they are at uni they have prep for the next classes. Health care courses are classed as full time and time uni expects you to study full time as well. They also don!!!8217;t finish in may like other students plus I hear many students only in one or two days a week but health care course is demanding. The uni day the course is priority and if you add work onto it your going to burn out if your not careful. I only worked one day a week and even then I was stressed
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 18th Apr 18, 12:23 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 1,155 Thanks
    Sncjw
    Plus you donít get paid during placement times.
    • Sunkencosts
    • By Sunkencosts 18th Apr 18, 12:33 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    Sunkencosts
    It's so unfair - when I was training we at least got a bursary of around £600 a month. Now they get nothing.
    Savings:
    Emergency 404.38/1000 Car 200/600 Christmas 250/800 Holiday 250/600
    Grading 30/90 presents 40
    Total debt Jan 2018 53,938
    April 2018 47,780.52
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 18th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 1,155 Thanks
    Sncjw
    I!!!8217;m sure health care courses get a student loan like others but because this is her second degree course she has to pay for it herself
    • braken2000
    • By braken2000 18th Apr 18, 12:52 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    braken2000
    If I were studying Nursing or an AHP I would get a student loan again. However because paramedics are not classed as "allied health professionals" they get very little. It is bizarre as there is a shortage at the moment and a lot of people like me who would return to studies but can not afford it.
    • LittleMrsThrifty
    • By LittleMrsThrifty 18th Apr 18, 1:12 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    LittleMrsThrifty
    Hi Bracken

    Well done for facing this and for posting up the SOA.

    I agree with others that there aren't many areas you can cut back so you need to both increase your income and reduce your monthly debt repayments and find a way for the two to meet in the middle.

    I can see that it isn't possible for either of you to take on any more shifts at work but are there any other things that you can do? I guess you are DBS checked - could you babysit locally? Often kids are in bed and so you'd be able to do your coursework. Babysitters who can drive themselves home are often gold-dust! Whilst you are at Uni (ie not on placement) could you pick up any care work in the evening or on the way home? Is there anything your partner could do? Perhaps gardening - a lot of people struggle with this in the summer and would be very happy to pay someone else to mow their lawn.

    Even just a little extra that you could throw at the really high APR debts would help with the overall total.
    MSE aim: more thanks than posts
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 18th Apr 18, 1:16 PM
    • 10,167 Posts
    • 125,659 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Can you sign up to local agencies for you to get extra shifts? (bars/ hospitality/ supermarkets / retail shops for example)

    Can you move the high APR cards to 0% rates ones?

    Have you contacted your local union / student union / student advisory or similar about a hardship fund to see if anything is available
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky is back on!
    • cms-help
    • By cms-help 18th Apr 18, 5:22 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 164 Thanks
    cms-help
    Thanks tbagpuss

    I have a couple of prescriptions a month so am currently on the 12 month PPC. Although have now got the form to fill in and see if I can get it even cheaper, so fingers cross on that. Had not thought about asking for a bigger refill, as opposed to "every month" which is a pain. Might ask for that just for convenience if nothing else .

    There is unfortunately no funding available for me in terms of grants etc. It is not a sector that attracts many at all, and due to having previous student loan I am classed as "self funding" which is why I am in this mess.
    Originally posted by braken2000
    Do you not get free prescriptions as a full-time low income student? Or is it something you have to apply for? My doctor prescribes packs of 56 tablets, as opposed to a pack of 28 (e.g. every other month instead of every other month). I don't know if it is common practice with civilian surgeries though as prescriptions are a source of income for GP surgeries.
    • braken2000
    • By braken2000 18th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    braken2000
    Unfortunately can not get 0% cards. One has already given us some breathing space which is good. Just got to get on to the others but am on nights now so will have to wait until tomorrow .

    Thanks for the extra work ideas, will definately look into them. My DBS is not transferrable, but might be on the update service so can use that if I am .

    Because I am over 19 I have to apply for it. The form took me a good hour yesterday, they do not make it easy that is for sure!

    My uni does an Access to Learning Fund, but this has closed for the year unfortunately. I am going to go and see them when I can to ask about hardship however as there is not much mention of it anywhere.
    • BeingDebtFreeStartsHere
    • By BeingDebtFreeStartsHere 18th Apr 18, 5:51 PM
    • 291 Posts
    • 801 Thanks
    BeingDebtFreeStartsHere
    Does your partner work for the NHS? If so, and the pay negotiations are accepted once voting has taken place, he would get a lump sum of back pay (guidance is this will come in the summer backdated to April). This could be used potentially to pay off a couple of the credit card debts?? Plus if he is due to move up a grade the increase in wage could be quite significant.

    BDFSH x
    LBM - August 2014
    DMP - started October 2014
    Total Debt Sept 2014 - £70,905.57 July 2018 £50,030.01 (29.4% paid) but proud to be in control and paying back what we've borrowed
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