Life can take some strange turns. Sometimes they work out well, and sometimes they shake everything to the foundations. I recently found myself in despair, wondering if I would ever get back on top of things and get my life in order.
I’ve always had a decent job and was comfortably meeting all of my bills and even making some savings. It wasn’t as though I was well off, but life was comfortable. Then my life took one of those turns. Without getting into too much detail, I will just say that I found myself with an unexpected debt of over £20,000. I was legally obliged to pay the debt but it very quickly had a knock on effect on my other financial commitments. Before I knew it, things were getting out of hand and rather than having one debt that I was having trouble with, I had several.
Debt pulls you down
I had to sell my house but because of the slump in house prices I had very little equity and barely managed to repay the mortgage. I moved back in with my parents to cut down my costs. Even so, by now my credit card had been cancelled with an unpaid debt on it, I had debts with utility companies, and none of my other debts had gone away.
Looking back now I know that I was burying my head in the sand and not facing up to the problem. Even though I had a decent income, I was simply struggling to make the monthly payments that my creditors were demanding. My debt just got worse and continued to rise and I didn’t know what to do or where to go with it all.
The important step
It was a close friend who pointed me in the direction of professional debt advice, and thank goodness she did. After providing some basic information the debt advisor took me through the options and suggested that an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) would be the best solution for me. The whole process didn’t take long, and even though it was difficult seeing my life being reduced to debts on pieces of paper, I knew it was going to make things better for me in the long run.
It took a little over a month to get everything sorted out, and set up. But as soon as I had the IVA agreement in process the relief was incredible. People talk about a weight being lifted of their shoulders well now I know what they mean. I no longer had to deal with my creditors as the administrator of the IVA does all of that.
Getting on with it
I don’t have much in the way of spare money after each payday, but my debts are under control. I don’t have to worry about interest and penalty costs being added and I don’t have to worry about being hounded by debt collection companies. As long as I maintain my payments, my debts will be cleared soon – I have a little over three years left. Because everything is under control now, I don’t feel like I am backed into a corner and can actually get on with things.
I have my life back again and even though I still have to live with my parents for the next few years, there is a strong light at the end of the tunnel. Only now, with my IVA in place, that light at the end of the tunnel is not a train – it is the warm glow of freedom.