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  • FIRST POST
    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 10th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    • 18Posts
    • 3Thanks
    mrfoxy
    My light-bulb moment, need help
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    My light-bulb moment, need help 10th Nov 18 at 11:21 AM
    Hello everyone,

    I recently had my Ďlight-bulbí moment in life. Iím looking for a bit of advice. I feel so ashamed and so embarrassed by my situation.

    Hereís a little bit about me:

    Iím 32 and in £6,175 worth of debt.

    I have mental health problems, in particular depression, generalised anxiety, social anxiety and OCD and Iíve suffered with them since I was around 14 years of age. Iíve had help at some points in my life with these problems by professionals but Iíve never really managed to combat them properly. Recently, I figured that it was my mental health problems that got me into debt. I go through spells where I like to spend a lot of money then suddenly crash and realise what have I done. I am currently under Healthy Minds for one-to-one therapy with a psychological well-being practitioner. Iím hoping I can get the help I need now, which Iíve sorely needed for most of my adult life.

    Part of my light-bulb moment has been realising that Iím heading in the wrong direction in life, as well as recognising my bad levels of debt and mental health. I am currently working in a supermarket. Iíve been in the same job for 14 years. I started this job as a student and I have a little bit of education. A*, Bís and Cís at GCSE level. I have an AVCE in ICT which doesnít really count for much in terms of applying for University, as it is no longer a recognised course. I have A levels in English and Media Studies. Iím talking about my education as I want to go back into education when I get myself sorted because I know it will enhance my career prospects.

    So onto the debt:

    I have made the decision to cut the cards up and STOP SPENDING.

    My credit card debt is mostly clothes, holidays, overspending on nights outs. Sort of supplying an income Iím not really getting from work. Iím currently looking to change jobs as a means of perhaps paying off the debt but obviously my anxiety is really getting in the way. I donít have many skills other than customer service skills. I know applying for a new job is really stressful and it could be good/bad for my situation. So currently Iím focusing on getting myself better to be honest.

    Iím currently considering some options with regards to the debt.

    Pay it off with balance transfers between HSBC and Barclays (the two cards I own) over 40 months or so. This would mean obviously using the balance transfer offers and then moving between the two cards. I will incur fees but it seems cheaper at the moment than any consolidation loan.

    B) Looking into another way of perhaps just writing off the debt. I honestly have no idea what to do in terms of this but itís something Iíd consider. It would mean Iíd have no access to any credit for the foreseeable future but it would mean Iíd start at day zero I guess and then I can move forward with my life and gain some inner peace.


    I am currently living with my partner but our relationship has become strained recently. I am supported by my partner financially but obviously if we did leave each other, I could be in a real sticky situation. I could go back to my Mumís house but sheís also on a really low income. When we moved out in 2015, my partner promised to look after me. Now I feel foolish because I didn't look after myself. I didn't tackle my mental health problems, instead chose to drown myself with alcohol etc and forget about building a life for myself.

    Iím getting help now with my mental well-being and now I need to sort my debt problem so I can move forward with my life.

    These are the bills I pay-

    Incomings: Roughly £840 (can change with overtime)
    Rent: £280
    Broadband/Internet/Sky - £86 (contract runs out in May)
    Union: £12.60
    Personal phone bill: £15
    Credit card bill: £150

    Leaving: 296.40

    This amount after bills could change if we split or I go back home. Iíd probably be left with £100 a month to myself, possibly even less. So it's important for me to tackle my debt head on now incase of any eventualities.

    Any help/advice etc is very welcome. Thank you...
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 10th Nov 18, 11:40 AM
    • 15,737 Posts
    • 14,796 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:40 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:40 AM
    Hi,


    Your debt is not massive in the grand scheme of things, but then again neither is your income, i`m glad you are receiving help for your mental health problems, that`s a good start, as is cutting up those cards.


    Your SOA looks a little sparse to me, no food bills, utilities, there's lots missing from it, you don`t have much in the way of disposable income either, increasing your income would help, as would moving back home, in a financial sense at least, if the payments become unaffordable, your options are either a debt management plan, or possibly a debt relief order if all else fails.
    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/
    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 10th Nov 18, 11:50 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    mrfoxy
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:50 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:50 AM
    Our house costs £375 each to run. I pay £280 but I've shouldered the broadband/sky/satellite bill of £86. As far as food goes, my partner is paying for the food as they earn considerably more than me. So it's very much teamwork at the moment because of my debts and illness. But I can't help but thinking if I didn't have that credit card bill, I'd be able to pay for half of the food. Does that make sense?

    Here's the housting costs breakdown. We rent privately:

    Rent - £525 per month
    Gas/Electricity etc- £81 per month
    Council Tax - £110 per month
    Water Rates - £35 per month

    Divide this by 2 people and it's £375.50 each per month.
    Last edited by mrfoxy; 10-11-2018 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Show more figures
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 10th Nov 18, 6:00 PM
    • 487 Posts
    • 2,229 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:00 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:00 PM
    Your income is below minimum wage so I assume that you work part time? Can you extend your hours to work full time?
    Debt Totals November 2018::
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 (paid off and closed 04/2017) £15,500 postgrad loan from parents/ Now £8,750 £500 train ticket loan from parents / Now £0 (paid off 16/02/18) £2,000 Overdraft Now £0 (paid off 09/03/18)
    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 10th Nov 18, 9:35 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    mrfoxy
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:35 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:35 PM
    My hourly rate is 9.87 at the moment. I could work 30 hours a week instead of 23. This would give me around an extra £200 income. But as stated in my post, my mental well-being isnít so great at the moment. Iím doing well though work wise, as Iíve barely had any sickness despite being overwhelmed in the past 2-3 years.

    Looking at a new job or study is something Iím going to have to do eventually. I know that for sure. But Iím guessing for now I should probably persist with paying the debt off rather than wiping it off with a debt order.
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 10th Nov 18, 9:44 PM
    • 945 Posts
    • 1,292 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:44 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:44 PM
    I won't offer any advice but just wish you luck in the future.
    Savings End October 2018 £2240.13
    September 2018 £986.09
    October 2018 £1254.04
    November 2018
    December 2018
    January 2019
    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 10th Nov 18, 11:10 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    mrfoxy
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:10 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:10 PM
    Your advice would be very welcome.
    • Craig1981
    • By Craig1981 11th Nov 18, 6:46 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    Craig1981
    • #8
    • 11th Nov 18, 6:46 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Nov 18, 6:46 AM
    i think what you are doing to stop spending is correct - the total debt is (in my opinion) too low for bankruptcy and you will probably have more than £50 surplus income if you sty where you are and definatley more if you move back in with your family, and that will mean not qualifying for a DRO (gain, my opinion on what i have read)

    do not do a consolidation loan - this is the worst type of credit you can do. if you have the means for balance transfers at 0% for a couple of years, that would be your best best

    other than that, what you have done by cutting up cards is a start - make sure you paying however more than the minimum due on the higher of the APR cards. if the APR is the same, then tackle higher payments on the larger balance
    • Craig1981
    • By Craig1981 11th Nov 18, 6:47 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    Craig1981
    • #9
    • 11th Nov 18, 6:47 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Nov 18, 6:47 AM
    the only other option, if you are not worried bout your credit history and accounts, is to ask the card companies to freeze the accounts (technically closing them) and come to payment arrangements with them directly.
    your credit file may show these accounts as defaulted, but, will stop you getting other credit as well, and save on interest
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 11th Nov 18, 1:10 PM
    • 5,407 Posts
    • 6,743 Thanks
    theoretica
    How long to work, for people who can choose, needs thought - if you are working less you not only earn less, but also have more time to spend money. I imagine that the Christmas season will have lots of opportunities to pick up more hours and make a good dent in the debt.


    You mention an interest in more education for better career prospects. If this is your reason for studying I suggest you work on a specific and strategic plan - what to study, what prospects you want opened, how else you might get there. What can you fit in physically and mentally part time around the hours you currently work?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 11th Nov 18, 3:52 PM
    • 2,017 Posts
    • 2,295 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    The main thing is you have realized what needs changing and are ready to do it.
    I'd recommend looking into dave Ramsey and his snowball method. You list all your debts then pay minimum on everything expect the smallest. Tackle the smallest with everything you have spare. Then move into the next. The idea is it's motivating so you want to keep it up. Your debt isn't that massive and you have spare income so it's really doable. Think how important your credit history is. If not much then maybe arranging smaller repayments on your credit cards will help. I did that and although it messed up my credit history i managed just fine. A good credit score isn't a measure of sucess!
    Re your job. Don't underestimate your skills. Customer service can be used in so many different fields and actually few people do it really well. I started in retail and then moved into local government in a call centre and worked my way up.
    You mention IT. You could look to get an entry level helpdesk role. That will involve customer service. You can then get your certification in your spare time and move up the ladder.
    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 12th Nov 18, 2:39 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    mrfoxy
    Thank you so much for the advice given thus far. I’m beginning to think most of you are right. My debt isn’t that bad and now I’ve stopped spending, it should start to come down in size.

    As far as looking for other work is concerned, I wasn’t sure what the transferable skills are from working in a supermarket. I don’t work on a customer service desk specifically but do have to help customers from time-to-time and other duties alongside.

    I think a lot of my problems stem from a lack of confidence obviously due to the mental health. I’m glad I’m getting some treatment for it, as I should be able to move forward hopefully.
    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 12th Nov 18, 2:49 PM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 7,501 Thanks
    Blackpool_Saver
    My advice would be to move the debt to a 0% card, or a low interest loan so you are paying more off the principal sum and not so much interest each payment, that way you will pay it down more quickly. Can you claim any benefits for your mental health?
    Blackpool_Saver is female


    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 12th Nov 18, 5:48 PM
    • 15,737 Posts
    • 14,796 Thanks
    sourcrates
    My advice would be to move the debt to a 0% card, or a low interest loan so you are paying more off the principal sum and not so much interest each payment,
    Originally posted by Blackpool_Saver

    0 % card may be an option.


    Do not consolidate this debt with a loan, you do not repay debt with further borrowing, it is generally considered a very bad option to take.
    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/
    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 12th Nov 18, 6:01 PM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 7,501 Thanks
    Blackpool_Saver
    0 % card may be an option.


    Do not consolidate this debt with a loan, you do not repay debt with further borrowing, it is generally considered a very bad option to take.
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    Sorry don't agree, if it is a very high interest card, a 0% card or loan at a low rate is best, especially if you throw all available money at it to pay it off quickly
    Last edited by Blackpool_Saver; 12-11-2018 at 6:56 PM.
    Blackpool_Saver is female


    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 13th Nov 18, 3:32 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    mrfoxy
    At the moment my balance transfer offer will expire in June 2019, from that point forward I'll be moving the balance to Barclays (they usually offer me 12 months every month). Then obviously, 12 months on from that I'll move it back to HSBC and they usually offer around 18-20 month offers. I'll probably incur fees of around £300 during that time for the transfers, so that would be much less than a loan.

    I have actually tried to find a decent loan but as some of you have said, it would mean further borrowing and more money paid back in the long run. I couldn't get a decent enough APR rate on the loan.
    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 13th Nov 18, 4:53 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    Exodi
    I have mental health problems, in particular depression, generalised anxiety, social anxiety and OCD and I’ve suffered with them since
    Originally posted by mrfoxy
    There's not a single thread on the DFW forum that doesn't start with this and it completely undermines culpability. It could be argued that it serves as evidence that having mental health issues make you more likely to be in debt but conversely it then provides a false of normality to the person and offers a scapegoat in their rationalization of their debt.

    As you've said yourself, it all boils down to;
    My credit card debt is mostly clothes, holidays, overspending on nights outs.
    Originally posted by mrfoxy
    I'm glad you've turned a corner and decided to address your debt, the first step is the hardest.
    • marco_79
    • By marco_79 14th Nov 18, 5:54 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    marco_79
    There's not a single thread on the DFW forum that doesn't start with this and it completely undermines culpability. It could be argued that it serves as evidence that having mental health issues make you more likely to be in debt but conversely it then provides a false of normality to the person and offers a scapegoat in their rationalization of their debt.

    As you've said yourself, it all boils down to;


    I'm glad you've turned a corner and decided to address your debt, the first step is the hardest.
    Originally posted by Exodi


    That must be one of the most unhelpful things I've ever heard on these boards. You have no idea what these people are going through or what the circumstances are. Lot to be said for "if you have nothing nice to say , say nothing at all."
    Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!
    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 14th Nov 18, 10:55 AM
    • 856 Posts
    • 4,497 Thanks
    Onebrokelady
    There's not a single thread on the DFW forum that doesn't start with this and it completely undermines culpability. It could be argued that it serves as evidence that having mental health issues make you more likely to be in debt but conversely it then provides a false of normality to the person and offers a scapegoat in their rationalization of their debt.

    As you've said yourself, it all boils down to;


    I'm glad you've turned a corner and decided to address your debt, the first step is the hardest.
    Originally posted by Exodi
    You are talking out of your !!!!,there are plenty of threads on this forum that don't start with this,mind didn't,I got into debt through a combination of things of which some were my fault and which I take ownership of,to say this to someone who is clearly reaching out for help is not helpful at all,mental health problems cause widespread despair and behaviour you might not carry out were you in a more mentally healthy place
    Last edited by Onebrokelady; 14-11-2018 at 9:38 PM.
    Just keep swimming
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £1,440 Total Now Owed = £16,190
    Emergency Fund = £300 Xmas savings = £400
    • mrfoxy
    • By mrfoxy 15th Nov 18, 2:12 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    mrfoxy
    There's not a single thread on the DFW forum that doesn't start with this and it completely undermines culpability. It could be argued that it serves as evidence that having mental health issues make you more likely to be in debt but conversely it then provides a false of normality to the person and offers a scapegoat in their rationalization of their debt.

    As you've said yourself, it all boils down to;


    I'm glad you've turned a corner and decided to address your debt, the first step is the hardest.
    Originally posted by Exodi
    I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my post. But I do feel you probably don't understand how mental illness affects someone's judgment in day to day life. I've bought things to fill a void and a lack of happiness. I also have manic spells where I spend a lot of money and crash and realise what I've done. I'm not looking for a scapegoat but I've realised with the help of my friends that I need professional help.

    And I agree with you, it's definitely a good idea to stop spending and get help before my life becomes a constant spiral of debt, debt, debt.
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