Client speaks out about Creditor Harassment before entering into an IVA

Ruth talks candidly on camera about her debt story

In a pretty market town near Chester, I met with Ruth, a client of ours who has recently entered into an ClearDebt IVA and talked frankly about how she came into debt and how she feels about life now that we are helping her.

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Not even 30 yet, Ruth has been through the mill – learning about finances the hard way.

A hard worker in her early 20s at a local supermarket, Ruth took out several loans of up to £8,000 a time to pay for extra clothes, holidays and gifts. Able to make repayments of several hundred pounds a month, she was confident with her abilities to meet the loan commitments and had paid off four thousand pounds of her remaining loan when she was made redundant.

Panic quickly set in – as did the creditor calls chasing her for repayments she had no way of affording. Pregnant and out of work, the pressure was quickly became too much.

View our video now and see how in Ruth’s words, the last few years have changed her life and now she works positively towards a genuine debt free future for her and her son.

If you don’t have the facilities to watch the video interview with Ruth, why not read the transcript below:

Part 1: How I got into debt

Ruth: “Hi I am Ruth and I am 29 and am 30 next year.

I just want to tell you a little bit about my ClearDebt story and how I got into debt. Originally I was in all over the place. I was getting loans from all over the place – from Halifax – to basically go on holiday, enjoy myself and have e a nice time which was fantastic. It then escalated out of control and I got made redundant.

I obviously couldn’t afford to cover my payments which were just getting ridiculous and then in the end I had to take some advice.
I just couldn’t afford it and I was getting harassed by creditors. Text messages, phone calls, non-stop letters – the bailiffs threatening all sorts and in the end I was in tears. I was pregnant with my little boy and I literally had all the letters in front of me thinking about what I was going to do?
I then found out about ClearDebt so I got on the phone and they said they could help me – I was expecting my little boy in a few months and I really needed help. I couldn’t cope anymore and ClearDebt were fantastic.”

ClearDebt: “Do you want to tell us a little bit about the creditors and what you did when you got those letters and text messages?”

Ruth: “Yes. Basically I was getting letters quite frequently – so probably about 3- 4 times a week, possibly more. Creditors were then texting me saying they wanted this sort of money now and it was not just a few pounds – it was £100. And there was a lot of harassment – a lot of letters saying they were going to send the bailiffs round to the house if I didn’t pay this and at this time…. I was really panicking every time the door went – I was jumpy and a bit frightened really. Being pregnant it was really a lot of stress on me and I just thought “I can’t cope with this anymore”. It was going on for a long time – a good six months. And that’s when I thought I am going to have to get some help.

ClearDebt: “And how did that affect you mentally in terms of mental health and emotional wellbeing?”

Ruth: “It definitely had me in tears. I even remember crying on the phone saying “please help me, look I can’t cope with this anymore” “I just can’t do it – I just need some help.” ClearDebt were really good on the phone – really re assuring and said “look, we will help you”. They talked me through it and could not have been any better – they were absolutely fantastic and put my mind at rest.

Part 2: Life before and After calling ClearDebt

ClearDebt: “Can you explain to us about how life was before you asked for help? How you managed financially, the emotions you went through and how you felt emotionally when you needed to buy things you couldn’t afford?”

Ruth: “Yes, absolutely. It was a total nightmare. It was just things like going out shopping. I had a little boy on the way and I needed to buy stuff for him.
We did get help from the family which was really nice but I would struggle with things like basic food shops – even things like helping out with my parents’ house – things like putting money in like electricity and gas for the meters.

I was at the end of my tether not knowing which way to turn and just thinking again – what am I going to do? How am I going to find extra cash?
The creditors were on my case all the time and I remember literally just being worried and thinking “where am I going to go” and then when I found out about ClearDebt and that I could get an IVA… well when I got sorted out, at first I thought it was going to be a lot of hassle but no it wasn’t. They were fantastic with me every step of the way. They were brilliant and put my mind at rest.
For someone to say over the phone that everything was going to be okay – it was like a big cloud lifted above my head – thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel. It was fantastic – I couldn’t recommend it anymore.”

ClearDebt: “And now you are in the IVA how is life managing financially?”

Ruth: “It’s fantastic. I thought I was going to have to pay quite a lot but to be fair its within my budget and I can handle it. I know the money is going to come out my bank when they say it will and the money’s in there. It just feels so much better to be able to say my debts are sorted and I will be debt free in five years. To not think it’s going to go on for years and years and years.
It’s so nice to think in five years’ time I can do things again and I can just be me and be with my little family and do things – rather than worrying when I’m going to pay this and that.

To have all this debt on top of you- it’s such a worry; but to be debt free in five years is just absolutely fantastic.

Part 3: What I would say to others in debt

ClearDebt: “You’ve made the decision to move forward and have taken control. For a lot of people in debt, they are aware that they have debt to repay but they either feel that they don’t need help at the moment or they are too frightened to ask for help. What would you say to these people?”

Ruth: “Look if you are really struggling and can’t cope anymore like I was – it was an awkward position to be in, it was horrible. But if you need help, please, please call ClearDebt.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. ClearDebt are fantastic people.

They will give you excellent customer service like they gave me. It’s a big grey cloud gone over my life now. I know I will be debt free in five years and I’ll be able to live with my little boy and my family. If you are struggling please get help. Don’t carry on – it just spirals out of control and you end up going in a vicious circle. If you do need help please do call ClearDebt – they are fantastic.”

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