A few years ago I would never have thought that I would end up so badly in debt that I just couldn’t see a way forward. After college, I managed to land a fantastic job at a builder’s merchant and met my husband there. We had two wonderful children and for a couple of years everything went really well.
How it started
Unfortunately the marriage didn’t work out. My (now-ex) husband moved out and started paying his earnings into a separate bank account. I was still renting the property, but a part time salary just didn’t stretch far enough to cover all the bills, even with child maintenance payments. I applied for housing benefit, but the claim took absolutely months, by which time I was hundreds of pounds in arrears.
The landlord began sending letters threatening me with the eviction process. To make things worse, I was getting further and further behind with the bills. I put what I could on my credit card and ran up an overdraft, but there still didn’t seem to be enough. I missed a few payments with the television company and phone supplier and that caused its own problems. When my old car needed work doing for its MOT, I made the mistake of taking out a short term loan, which was when things got really desperate.
It wasn’t long before I defaulted on the loan, and the company started ringing me constantly to find out why. They kept sending letters, which joined the ones from the electricity company, the television people and the credit card company, all demanding payment and threatening legal action. It just got worse and worse. I couldn’t sleep and every day was a constant battle to find money from somewhere for food. Crunch point came when the loan company sent the debt collectors to the door. That afternoon I went to the cash point and can remember just bursting into tears when I couldn’t get any money out.
Previously I had tried to keep my money worries hidden, but with absolutely no money left and empty cupboards, I had to bury my pride and ask a friend for a loan. I told them the whole sorry story and they were brilliant. They said a similar thing had happened to them a few years ago and they’d set up a Trust Deed to get everything sorted. They gave me the number of the debt advice company they’d used and I gave them a ring, which was really the turning point for me.
I found out that with a Trust Deed, you make a list of all your creditors, give a statement of your income and an insolvency practitioner works out how much you can afford to pay back and offers it to your creditors. If they accept (and they usually do), all the letters, phone calls and threats from your creditors stop. You just pay the company one affordable monthly payment over an agreed number of years and the debt you have left over is written off. You’ve no idea what a relief it was not to be floundering on alone and now I’m not paying out more than I can afford, I’m really beginning to get back on my feet again. My only regret was that I didn’t get a Trust Deed much earlier, as it’s been a huge benefit to me.