If you are struggling with your debt, get help

It may seem really obvious to some that if you're struggling with your debt to get help, but it's not obvious!  There are many emotions involved and nothing is ever black and white!

Debt written on the brick wall
Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

For me, it felt like growing old.  It happened gradually and over a long time!

I was not in the greatest of relationships at the time, to be honest, it was fairly toxic.  I had, and to some extent still do, the need to please.  I wanted to give my husband everything he wanted everything and using loans, credit cards, then consolidating those loans and credit cards and then running back up those credit cards, I managed to get myself into so much debt.  So much so, that I was using my credit cards to pay for my food and petrol.

I owned a house.  I never missed a payment.  I knew this was a secure loan and I could lose my home if I did not pay the mortgage.  I also paid my credit cards but I used cheque books which came with credit cards to pay off different ones.  So I was robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Looking back it was horrendous and I have no idea how I managed to get myself in such a mess, but like I said, for me it was like growing old, it was happening gradually until one day I had no credit to pay off the loans and cards.

I panicked.

I had a husband who couldn't understand why he couldn't go out and buy the latest phone!  He wanted it right there and then, why can't he have it?  That's when things went dark.

The first letter to come through the door was from Egg.  I didn't have the spare funds (after paying my mortgage) to pay them so in my despair I called them.  I felt such shame!

The lady on the other end of the phone was amazing.  She was calm, non-judgemental (unlike the awful woman at Santander) and helpful!  She got me to complete a payment plan there and then on the phone.  It was like a boulder being lifted off my shoulders!  She advised me to get in contact with a debt management plan.  Which I did.

It was the best day of my dark debt years!  Well, other than Monday!

Payplan, which has since changed to PayplanPlus (and definitely not so friendly I feel), went through all my debt with me.  I had a debt plan set out and they contacted all my creditors.  It was a horrible few months.  I got a lot of letters but I just forwarded them all on to Payplan and eventually, all the credit card and loan companies agreed to freeze the interest and accept what I could afford.  

That was 12 years ago!  

When I went on my DMP (Debt Management Plan) I had no spare money, I had the money for food, clothes, petrol etc.  I had the money for all the necessary purchases in my life.  I didn't have money for £200 trainers - and too right!!  Only I wasn't the only one in the relationship and I wasn't the only one who ran up this debt, but it became all mine!

My husband didn't take the lack of money so well, and our relationship went downhill really really fast and resulted in not only divorce but I had to sell my home.  MY home, the one I had added his name to, not a home we had bought together!  I know how that sounds too, but my thinking was if I died, he'd lose his home and so added him to the mortgage.

I couldn't just get his name taken off the mortgage either, even though it had never been in arrears, I'd never missed a payment.  I no longer had the credit rating for my mortgage that I'd had since I was 25.  He moved out, we got divorced he wanted his name off the house so I had no choice but to sell it.

That was a dark day.

That was 12 years ago, and on Monday I paid the last debt off!  

So whilst 2020 is being the weirdest year we are experiences it has had one highlight for me!

I am so looking forward to a fresh new year with no debt.

So my point is, do not suffer in silence.  The first step is always the hardest.  Check out MSE for some really fantastic advice, it's been my home for 12 years! 

You are not alone, many are in your situation, and it's all fixable.  It may be slow, it will be hard but one day you will be sitting on your sofa with tears of joy as you sit and read that last letter from your creditors to say your account has now been paid off.

MSE recommend a company called StepChange to call.  I haven't used them but due to the changes over the years with PayPlan then I would go with MSE's recommendations.

Take care


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