My Finances

The Terrible Truth Of My Finances

I promised to be transparent about the level of my debt caused by online gambling, so here goes.

For a long time the amount of my debt was so overwhelming I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t see how I’d ever get out of it, and the truth is, it’s going to be a very long time before I do. Some days this really gets to me, like a massive weight on my shoulders. But I have been learning that I can’t spend my whole life worrying about it. I can’t solve this problem in one day so what good will come of constantly thinking and worrying about it. All I can do is continue to make my monthly payments and try not to dwell (too much).

I wasn’t always so accepting of the situation I am in. When multiple letters would come through the letter box on a daily basis asking for the money I owed I’ll admit it was scary. The anxiety would grow in my stomach knowing that I couldn’t even make the minimum repayments. I’d play over scenarios in my head, would we be able to get a new mortgage deal? Would we lose the house because I shit all over my credit rating? Would bailiffs turn up at the door? Would they take my husbands things? What would my neighbours think?

In the end I swallowed my pride and contacted StepChange. My finances had become unmanageable and I owed so much to so many creditors I just didn’t know where to start, but I knew I couldn’t keep ignoring the letters. I needed help. Admitting this was really hard because I don’t like to ask for help. So there I found myself sitting on the floor, surrounded by tonnes of letters dialling the StepChange number. I have to say it’s one of the best things I ever did.

I was terrified they would judge me. Gasp when I told them the level of my debt. That they’d think what an utter fuck up I was. That didn’t happen. They were really understanding and clearly explained all my options and the consequences of each. When I decided how I wished to proceed they clearly explained the next steps. I opted to enter a Debt Management Plan . Which meant that StepChange would contact my creditors and offer them reduced monthly payments based on what I could afford. They would ask my creditors to freeze interest, to stop contacting me directly, and they would take one payment a month from my bank account and distribute it to all my creditors. And just like that I could breath a little easier. Having a solution and a way to manage such an overwhelming situation had such a positive impact on my well being. I wasn’t as stressed & my anxiety levels reduced. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a magic wand. The debt is still there and at the rate I’m paying it off I will be in my 60’s before it is cleared (I’m in my 30’s now). My goal is to pay it all off and not have the heavy burden of debt hanging around my neck, but I have to be grateful that it is at least a burden I can carry, thanks to the help and support of StepChange.

Current Debt – June 2019

Credit Card 19,671.02
Credit Card 28,836.60
Credit Card 34,026.13
Credit Card 42,673.38
Credit Card 51,754.90
Previous Overdraft 1,360.38
Credit Card 61,130.50
Credit Card 7767.88
Previous Overdraft384.90

Total 34,787.35

If like me you find yourself in a difficult financial situation and it’s just getting too difficult to handle, I really recommend that you contact StepChange. You’ll be glad you did.

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