Being a graduate, I tend to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person and certainly not the sort who would be likely to fall into debt so badly. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened and I can honestly say that it was the worst time of my life so far. Until you’ve actually experienced the misery and fear it causes, it’s hard to understand just how awful having more debt than you can manage is.
After University, I was fairly lucky in that I got a full time job in my field after only a few months. It wasn’t the best paid job in the world, but there was the chance of further training and the company seemed to do internal promotions quite frequently, which looked good. The job was twenty miles from where we lived and public transport was poor, so I decided to buy a car with a hire purchase agreement. I figured that way I’d be getting a reliable vehicle so I could get to work.
How the problem started
Things began to go wrong when the company started laying off workers due to the recession. With a “first in first out” policy I was soon back signing on, which is when the problems really started. My benefits took ages to sort out, by which time I was well behind with the payments on the car. To make things worse, I’d maxed out my credit cards, couldn’t get my overdraft at the bank extended and was falling behind with the rent. Before I knew it I was in the middle of a serious debt problem and then the phone just wouldn’t stop ringing with demands for money I didn’t have. In the end the car got repossessed because I hadn’t kept up with the payment plan.
I stopped answering my phone, stopped opening the mail and buried my head in the sand. I couldn’t talk to anybody about it and just wanted the whole thing to go away. The only way to resolve it, I thought was to get a job and boy did I try, but it just wasn’t that easy.
How the solution started
I couldn’t sleep for worrying about it all and I began to get quite unwell as there wasn’t any money for proper food. Amazingly, it was the Job Centre that helped me, as they pointed me in the direction of a Food Bank. As well as some welcome supplies, someone there actually listened to me and suggested I go for debt advice. They even let me use their phone to make the initial call. I can honestly say that was a turning point.
The debt advisors were really helpful and didn’t judge. In a few weeks they’d managed to make arrangements with the credit card companies and the bank, as well as getting me back online and focussed so that I could start job searching properly. I’ve since found a job, not my preferred choice of career and not very well paid at all but things have improved and I no longer have to live with the fear of the phone calls from my creditors and the terrifying brown envelopes through the door. I’d recommend using a debt advisor and finding a proper debt solution to anyone experiencing debt problems. It really does make an enormous difference.