The personal story of a ClearDebt client, who found herself in debt and is now on her way to becoming debt free with an IVA.
A ClearDebt client, who recently entered into an IVA, shares her story about how she found herself in debt and the path she is on now.
Like most people reading this, I had never been in serious financial trouble before and have usually managed my finances fairly well…until a couple of years ago.
It was then that my income dropped – just after I had taken out a mortgage and bought my home.
Asking the bank for help
Realising I was financially stretched I turned to my bank and asked to renegotiate a loan I had with them. They refused to do this and instead persuaded me to take out a third credit card to give me, as they put it, a “financial cushion”. I wasn’t keen on the idea but as it was the only solution they were offering, I took them up on it.
Of course, it wasn’t long before I realised that I was even more financially stretched and I began to struggle to make ends meet. After a few months, I missed a payment on my loan and tried to negotiate with the bank but they were not very interested in helping me.
After several more months of struggling financially, sometimes not paying essential bills and missing another loan payment, I approached my bank again. All they would offer was a payment schedule, which meant I had to now pay the loan payment and the arrears!
The realisation that I couldn’t cope anymore
The final straw came when the Working Tax Credit I had been receiving as a self employed disabled person was cut in half due to government cut backs. I realised then that I simply was not earning enough to pay off my debts. I was paying for travel and food using one of my credit cards and all three were nearly always maxed out. I was robbing Peter to pay Paul, and I felt overwhelmed and very distressed about the whole situation, suffering loss of sleep and anxiety.
How ClearDebt helped me
I came across ClearDebt’s website and gave them a call. They were very reassuring and helpful, and within two months I had signed an IVA.
I have learned a lot from my experiences over the last two years, but the most important thing I think I have learned is that a bank will not always give you the most impartial advice – in my opinion, they will, naturally, give the advice that serves them the best – after all, they are a business and they are there to make money!
It is really important to get impartial financial advice. ClearDebt gave me that and advised me of solutions available – and made it clear that it would be my decision which solution to opt for. This has put me back in control of my financial future and I can now sleep at night!
I will never live on credit again!
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