For those of you who are suffering with debt you will know what I mean, today so many people over spend and get themselves in debt.
I was frightened to answer the telephone, or answer the door, for fear that a debt collector would come knocking on the door demanding money, I had so many letters and telephone calls over a six month duration, I really didn’t know who to turn to, and the credit companies I owed money to were not sympathetic, they didn’t care that I was having financial problems, they just wanted to know when there next payment was going to be.
I have been struggling with debt for the past three years, which I know is a long time, and I should have got help earlier, but I thought I could manage it, but the hole just got deeper and deeper.
When I knew things were getting bad, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and see just how much debt I was in, to my horror when I totaled up all my debts from different credit card companies I couldn’t believe how out of hand things had gotten.
I had got to the stage where I was not opening my letters and trying to ignore calls, because I knew things were bad, but it wasn’t until things came to a head that I acknowledged the fact that I indeed had a debt problem.
It wasn’t until January this year, when things came to a head, I lost my job as a result of stealing items from the company I work for, to try and make ends meet as my current salary was no where near keeping up with the payments on all my credit cards.
So here I was with no money and no job, things had really got bad, I also got a caution from the local police station for theft.
This is when everything came out, I told my parents and boyfriend exactly how much debt I was in, I thought that they would have disowned me, but instead they were very supportive and understanding, I think that was my worst fear, was the fact that I might lose my family and my boyfriend due to my debt problems.
I hear yourself asking, how can you get yourself in such debt, well I think it was a case of living beyond my means, wanting things that I knew I couldn’t afford, but having them anyway.
I kept swapping credit cards and trying to get low rate interest cards or cards which didn’t have any Apr’s on them, but I would end up using all my cards, and at the end, I had maxed all my cards out,every single one was over the credit limit, so although I wasn’t technically spending on them, the amount of interest and late payment fee’s just kept accumulating.
In the end I went to a debt management company, who advised me of my options, firstly there was the bankruptcy option, a road I didn’t really want to go down, but I knew that it might come to that, then there was debt management, but again my debts were so high, I probably couldn’t afford to pay every month due to the state of my finances, so the only other option was an individual voluntary arrangement.
I opted for the IVA in the end, so I would be able to pay my creditors a percentage of the debts I owed to their companies, but also a lot of the debt would be wiped out, as they can only take the money that you can afford every month.
After all my creditors agreed to the IVA, life has been much better, the phone doesn’t ring half as much as it used to, I don’t get hundreds and hundreds of letters through the mail box every morning, and more importantly I have the support of my family.
So my advise to anyone who has debt problems, as soon as you know you are in trouble, get help straight away, talk to someone, don’t keep it to yourself because the problem will only get worse. Don’t think things are going to get better because they wont, you will get deeper and deeper and deeper until you can see no way out, get professional advise, and like me, once you have got the problem sorted things will start to look brighter.