Life has been a misery – until now!

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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

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Mixed feelings

Everything running smoothly with my IVA at the minute but have mixed feelings about a personal injury claim that has been ongoing for nearly two years. I think the end is in sight but there seems to be a bit of a hold up because of my IVA as my solicitor is seeking advice on the implications of my being in one. I have spoken to someone at Freeman Jones and they have assured me that my IP has confirmed the full payment is to come to me as I had no loss of earnings due to the accident. Good news! But although the payout is to compensate me for living with severe tinnitus for the rest of my life and to pay for help in relieving the symptoms I am finding it hard knowing what to do for the best.

As I have been in my IVA for only a year I am not sure it will be enough to make a F&F offer and am not even sure that would be the best thing for me. While I don’t enjoy the thought of being on the Insolvency register I like the feeling of control the IVA has brought me, if I want something I save for it and am about to pay for our very first holiday without using a credit card (a weekend away with son, daughter and grandchildren) and that is a good feeling of achievement.

I hope I will feel more relaxed about it all when the case is resolved and I apologise if anyone feels I should be grateful for the money but believe me every day I wish I could turn the clock back and be rid of the constant noise I now have to live with.

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First year down and still feel I am winning

It has now been over a year since my IVA was approved and I am glad to say I am still feeling positive. My first review is under way so waiting for that (not sure what it will involve but it cannot be as bad as waiting for that decision a year ago!).

I still read the forum regularly just to see how things are going for everyone else, sometimes a post appears from someone who was starting out at the same time as me which makes me feel ‘at home’ and among friends.  I wanted everyone to have success in their journey but still remember Spanna for whom things didn’t go so well and I still wonder how she is doing.  I think it is because I was lucky to get the chance to make thing better and thinking someone who was part of my journey was having a hard time still, hopefully everything worked out and she just decided not to share anything more with us.

This year has gone quickly so heres hoping the next one is as painless and I am still feeling positive at the other end.

This forum is a godsend as an escape from the world of hiding the fact you failed where you can be anonymous and free to share your problems or read and take advice or just get a boost from somebody who is not going to judge you.  Of course the expert’s comments can be both comforting and encouraging when something is on your mind and you will often find the answer to any doubt you may have.

Keep up the good work everyone. Xx


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Feeling shaky

I just want to say that since I started my IVA I have felt very positive but the last couple of weeks have been different. There is not so much money left at the end of each week (I pay my IVA weekly) and I feel a real sense of panic but I now know that I have lost the tight rein that I held at the beginning and the thrill of managing to feed us for a week having scrutinised the supermarket for the best deals. I have not been totally reckless but have not been so careful either. I am going back to square one from now and aim to get that positivity back again soon. Keep smiling xxx

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Little things

I have just been to pick up some Giant African Land Snails, you might ask why? A few people at work did but the reason is the delight it has brought to my grandchildren. They were free from someone at work (unexpected additions you might say!) and I already had an empty fish tank (the fish outgrew it three years ago so I created a pond in the garden for them and they are still swimming and growing happily). Anyway the kids could not wait to go and pick the snails up and my point is they are going to cost very little to keep but the pleasure I have gained from seeing those precious kids so excited is priceless. They are tiny but seeing their parents who are 8 months old and about half their eventual size I know they are going to shoot up. My oldest grandson promises me he will give them their bath when they are full size and I hope he keeps his word. Xx. happy days.

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Looking at my bank account

I have just been checking things are running smoothly on my Think Money account as since we changed over a couple of payments have been a bit of a problem. Well it seems to be OK and I just wanted to share the feeling of seeing my account in the black with everything paid and enough for the rest of the weeks payments too. I know my creditors aren’t getting their full dues but at 39% they are not doing too badly and may get more as I have just started this journey. Anyway my main reason for posting is the nice feeling to be in control, yes I am not out looking around the shops which I probably would have done pre IVA but I have no interest in that now. GOOD LESSON LEARNED!! I even still have some of my vouchers left from winning Blog of the week, maybe I will pop out to get a treat with them! but you can be assured I will not buy anything too frivolous.

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Still can’t believe it!

I have just come in from the local shopping centre (Metro Centre) and can’t believe how much I have enjoyed just roaming around looking for some bits and pieces for a family wedding next week. No I haven’t spent a fortune on outfits etc (£10 on a pair of opaque tights to finish my ebay outfit) and I used my voucher from winning blog of the week last month. What has amazed me is the relaxed feeling I had in spending this vast amount, before I got my sensible head on I would have been armed with whichever credit card would take me there and probably spent recklessly on things I really didn’t need. I don’t want anyone to think I am not ashamed of my plight, I am very much so, but it is nice to just be able to be at the shops (this is the first time since before Xmas) without that black cloud of pending doom hanging over me.

I came home to have lunch (again I would have eaten out wasting more money I didn’t have) but have still had a lovely day and am looking forward to the wedding next week. One thing I realise I have forgotten is a new tie I was going to treat my husband to to brighten up his 10 year old suit, he would not want one and maybe I can get him one more locally!!

Thanks for reading and hope you have made the move to get your life on the up. Xx.

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What a nice feeling

I have just had my nightly look at the forum and see my status says 1 month down 59 to go – yipeeee. That feels so good the end is a little nearer officially. Xx

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