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Hello all, like a lot of you I wish I could turn the clock back and not be so easily led down that black road to being in debt. Of course I take most of the blame but it was so easy! I got my first credit card about 35 years ago and they just kept building up until in the end I had 11, most of which were at their limit or very near to it. Of course for many years that didn’t matter, I could always get a transfer to 0% and start again – never really paying anything off and so it went until about 3 years ago I knew I needed help and contacted a company but chickened out and buried my head in the sand until now (IVA approved 25th February this year).
My husband wasn’t aware of the extent of my debt so that was part of the problem, I would lie awake wanting to end it all because of the mess I was in and the thought of telling him was terrible (he’s one of the most understanding people but I was so ashamed of my situation)
Eventually I knew I had to do something so I took a day off work and rang a helpline, they put me through to Gregory Pennington and I spoke to David, he was brilliant and helped me come to terms with the situation and realise the time had come to take steps to change it all. I knew an IVA was what I needed, of course I was also worried I would need to go bankrupt but he assured me the IVA was the way forward and he was so easy to talk to that before I knew it we were discussing outgoings etc and he gave me an idea of what my affordable payment would be. I was shocked that my debt was 43,000 (again burying may head so never actually totted it all up) with payments of over 1,400 per month and he suggested a payment of 400.00 which was less than just two of my cards (I never missed any payments, just using cards with spare balance on for everyday living etc). Incidentally my salary was 998.00 per month so of course my husband was also paying my debts, it was a nightmare and I really did wish I could just die so he would get insurance and be rid of me and the problems I had created.
I am sure I don’t need to go into how ill I felt when I started the ball rolling, first I had to tell my husband who of course supported me 100% then my son and daughter and again I was told to go for it. They all knew I was worried about money and in fact I took an overdose 3 years ago and during the aftermath should have got sorted but some money from my mother in law made the problem slightly better for a while – hence I carried on my old ways always believing a solution would appear.
I made that first call on 21st January and my creditors meeting was arranged for 25th February – the longest 4 weeks of my life and the worst, I have never been so worried about all kinds of things, not least getting phone calls at work which would have mortified me (luckily I got only one) but had to confide in a colleague who covered for me in my absence, she also told me not to worry and get sorted. I had to tell a white lie to get the day off for my meeting as my colleague was also off but I managed. Of course getting that call was amazing, I really thought I would be turned down because I owed so much, had recently got a car from work through salary sacrifice (which reduced my take home pay and I thought the creditors would say it was too extravagant at 217.00 per month reduction in pay and even might think I had deliberately got the car to make less money available, the truth is my car was written off when I was rammed at traffic lights and my plan had always been to replace it with a lease car when I could so it really was done innocently). When they agreed with no modifications (I have a personal injury claim ongoing from aforementioned accident and two tried to get any payout to go to IVA but this was overturned by IP) I cannot tell you the relief, but I forget of course you all know what that feels like;-).
I found this forum after trying to find solace with stories of what I should expect from the road ahead, and also looking for answers to the questions keeping me awake at night. I have to admit that once things started to settle down I felt a lot happier than I have for a long long time and now it is amazing to have that terrible burden off me, I cannot believe how I used to feel. I should add that I have 5 gorgeous grandchildren aged 3, 6, 8, 8 and 9 who I nearly left behind during those awful dark days, but I know they have gone and I am on my way to being really happy for the first time in what feels like forever.
I will sign off for now but I will be back soon. Xxx