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Financial mess(11 Posts)
Longtime lurker, first time poster.
I am in such a financial mess and I don't know how to get out of it.
Until two years ago I worked as an unqualified teacher in a FE College. I didn't earn much but supplemented my income with private tuition. I left my job to study for a PGCE, in a shortage subject so I was awarded a bursary to pay fees and living costs. The death of my dad led to me have a "breakdown" and I dropped out of the course. The university said that I had done enough of the course to have to pay the majority of fees but the bursary stopped and I was left owing £6000. My breakdown meant I was not able to go back into work and I signed on for Universal Credit.
I moved in with my brother and he has been very understanding about rent etc. My mental health issues, where I couldn't leave the house, meant I missed a UC appointment and my benefits have been sanctioned meaning I now receive just over £8 per month. I had a small amount of savings which I've used to pay for my car and phone etc but these have now run out. I have sold my car and can't afford to replace it (or pay for insurance, tax etc) so I am stuck regarding my private students . Last week I didn't even have the bus fare to go and have my eyes tested. My brother doesn't know the full extent of my financial mess - he's very cautious with money and he wouldn't understand.
I can't pay the money that I owe the university and have some credit card debt plus a "payday" loan but have not made a payment on these for several months. I live in fear of a bailiff's visit - I have no assets but know that it is possible that they could take goods belonging to my brother if I couldn't show they belong to him. I am now 59 years old and am struggling to see past the end of the year.
At 59 you are allowed to access your pension. You could get some money from there.
Was it not a student loan? Could you look for lsa work at the fe college now? You need to rearrange your uc appointment as a start.
If you have mental health can you get or have you applied for PIP ? Also speak to Stepchange or any other free debt help charity it sounds like everything is really on top of you . It’s a horrible feeling .
OP you need debt and benefits advice. I can’t help with the debt But you can approach step change for debt or citizens advice for both. For short term help there may be food banks in the area.
You may be able to challenge the universal credit decision- the deadline is one month but you can put in a late challenge up to 13 months after the decision though you need to explain the delay.
Don't open the door to baliffs. Hopefully they won't come round any way. Could you defer the end of your course until you are feeling better. You have had to deal with a major life event - death of a parent - when you are feeling better teaching is a stable job with a good income. Just a few years teaching before you retire would add to your pension. However it is also a very stressful job and not worth risking your mental health for. Try Step change or Christians against poverty.
I would do a number of things. Depending on the amount of debt I would consider contacting stepchange.
As regards UC you are clearly limited in what work you can do. Have you considered handing in sick notes, or have you already been doing this and have you been assessed for work capability ?
I know I sound very pathetic but how do I rearrange a UC appointment? I find using the telephone very difficult - even making an appointment with the CAB over the phone is something I have to practice 10 times over.
Can you write to them?
You can communicate with your work coach via your Uc journal.