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Britons face 'lifetime of debts'

(24 Posts)
MrsBigD Wed 24-May-06 13:57:40

NOt sure what I find scarier... that so many people actually get into debt (us included) or that there are so many out there on just half the national average income

BBC ARticle

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 14:13:35

I don't find this article surprising at all.

I know we are far, far from alone or unique in our situation.

After taxes and NI, my annual wage is £1,000 above what is considered poverty line. Yet our rent - market value rent on a housing association flat (BIG shortage of subsidised housing here)- is now £6,060/annum (2nd floor, 2 bed flat for 4 people). Council tax is another £1608 (incl. water, sewage and rubbish collection). Power is £1224. That's a total of £8892. For basic living not including food, much less other bills.

If I were single and didn't have another income coming in, I'd need state benefits just to feed and cloth the family. As it is we work opposite shifts so we don't have to pay for childcare.

EVERY time we get an unexpected bill, it has to go on a credit card.

We were doing fine till the Tax Credits Office f*cked us over. Now we're nearly £4,000 in debt.

MrsBigD Wed 24-May-06 14:19:13

omg working opposite shifts? How do you cope??? That must be very difficult and exhausting.

We don't qualify for any tax credits etc. so that's probably a good thing going on what I've heard about them mucking it up and then requesting money back

Don't talk to me about childcare... my wages go into childcare. But I want to work as otherwise I might be out of the loop for to long and too old to secure another job by the time both kids are old enough to go to 'big' school (which would have me at 40+)...

Nemo1977 Wed 24-May-06 14:20:37

No not surprised either. We had an IVA put through in january as our debts were too high for us to be able to cope anymore. We are lucky now that all our things are budgeted very strictly with no way of us getting any credit and our debts apart from mortgage will be paid off in 5 years.

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 14:22:07

DH works 7-11PM daily and a full shift + half shift Sat. and Sun.

That's life. Could never afford childcare.

If I could give up work I'd be off like a shot, but that won't happen.

peachyClair Wed 24-May-06 15:27:07

It might expat, we were like that and things changed for us.
Now we don't do debt, bar one overdraft we could clear fairly wuickly if needs be and my student loan. We get chased round by credit card people everywhere we go, but have trained ourselves to say no. Learned very much the hard way though.

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 15:33:56

Peachy
At one point it was either 'do debt' or be homeless b/c of what happened w/our tax credits. We were left to live on just £800/month after tax and NI - not enough for rent, power, and council tax let alone food - and it took some time before DH fuond a job to fit round childcare and three months to even get housing benefit.

Sorry, but I was once one of those people who thought those who are in debt are like that b/c they were irresponsible, just couldn't say no, spent money frivously, etc.

Until we ALL learn to let go of that complete and utter myth, we'll never tackle the root cause of debts: poor pay v. exhorbitant cost of living.

Pruni Wed 24-May-06 15:34:51

Message withdrawn

Uwila Wed 24-May-06 16:21:49

We have sooooooo much debt. And it is sooooooo depressing.

Whenever I see people quoting how much debt they have on here, it is never even half of what we have.

foxinsocks Wed 24-May-06 16:27:47

I shudder whenever I see our mortgage statement (especially considering how little house we got for that money!)

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 16:29:10

I got a rent increase letter on Monday.

foxinsocks Wed 24-May-06 16:31:54



saw on the news, Scottish Power's profits have jumped 47% and what have they done? warned that they will put up gas/electricity prices again

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 16:35:49

Yeah, I saw that, too, fox. [anger]

It really burns me up as everything is electric in this rental flat and the bill is still extortionate.

bogwobbit Wed 24-May-06 16:41:05

We have been in debt for 15 years thanks to a combination of dh leaving the Navy to go to college and an unplanned pregnancy (dd2). Things have improved a bit since then but basically we are still in thousands of pounds of debt and probably will be for many years to come, despite dh working full time and me working 4 days a week. We survive by juggling debts around and basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. We can just about afford to pay for the basics, car (work lease car - which I need for my work), mortgage, council tax, childcare, food etc but any extras just put us deeper in debt. Even simple things like the odd takeaway and family birthdays, we can't really afford. Last year my mum was 70 and my brothers and I took her out for a meal and bought her a camera. Couldn't really afford this (put it on the credit card) but wasn't going to admit this to my brothers.
So yes, I can certainly believe it. What amazes me is that there are so many people who aren't in debt or struggling. Most of our neighbours / friends seem to have lovely houses, beautiful furniture (most of ours is second-hand ) and holidays abroad (we can't afford to go anywhere this year) without a second thought. I don't know how they do it?

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 16:42:57

Short answer, bog: a lot of people lie about being in debt.

Long answer: their parents bail them out.

butty Wed 24-May-06 16:43:38

I think at the end of the day, debt is now part of society as it is way too easy to get a loan or a credit card etc... even if you have bad debt, you can still get something

At the end of the day, there is only a small percentile of people in this country that can afford things and as for the tax credits system, well i think it is an absolute shambles.

They never fail to give you something in one hand and then take it out of the other, and then even more so, they always fail to keep the money we receive up to scratch and in line with the day to day cost of living

I should know, i'm £28000 in debt, and i feel i will be all my life as it is a viscious circle, oh and that doesn't include the £64k still left on my mortgage.

i now live day to day with the money we work hard for and the daily bills and threats to pay.

i don't ignore it, i pay what i can, the interest is probably more than i borrowed and i used to earn a lot of K per year before we fouynd out my DS had SN and other physucal disabilities.

The government need to cram down on these companies and do more for those who are struggling as it just isn't always possible to pay what we owe.

Sorry to rant, just needed to say it.

Butty.xxx

bogwobbit Wed 24-May-06 16:45:48

You could be right expat.
I know my sil gets regular 'payouts' from her dh's family whenever things get too much for them financially. Not that I jealous or anything

foxinsocks Wed 24-May-06 16:46:25

loads of parents bail their kids out

our next door neighbour is in her 50s and her dad has bailed out her company (is guarantor for all the debts) and then a few days ago, I was rudely awoken by a giant skip going outside and they are completely redecorating the house - he has paid for this aswell!! It never ceases to amaze me.

peachyClair Wed 24-May-06 16:52:16

Expat I hope you fon't think I was criticising! Hardly able: we lost our house when Dh couldn't work, couldn't pay debts so had to cash it in before it was taken. I was trying to offer optimism, sorry if came across otherwise!

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 16:52:26

There's a chap here in his 40s and regularly gets lump sums from his dad.

peachyClair Wed 24-May-06 16:54:04

i would say that's shameful but I'd take if it I were offered (fat chance, pensions for my aprents were wiped out by didgy directors at theri work)

expatinscotland Wed 24-May-06 16:54:18

Taht sux, peachy!

In a lot of ways, I'm glad we don't own a place. I couldn't afford the upkeep, anyhow.

It just seems you're expected to pay, pay, pay. And then they want you to save, too.

LOL!

And of course, the mentality that being in debt is ALL one's fault for living frivolously.

Piffle Wed 24-May-06 16:58:42

Tis true PIL gave dp (us ) money towards out car, well they agreed to lend it then refused the money back when we'd saved it up for them they explained that they regularly helped out his two older brothers (both in good jobs with nice houses wives and kids)
I'm pretty flippant about debt, I guess am complacent as have plenty of equity... Although we're not really in debt but we should be saving more tbh...

peachyClair Wed 24-May-06 17:02:59

my sister just got a new saab and goes on about us not having a house / holidays in africa etc etc etc- but she also gets hand outs from In laws, (house deposits for a start), her DH has a business to inherit, and she only has one child. That's fine and I don't envy her life, but I resent being judged by her.

Selling the hosue was a godsend for us: it has let me go to uni which is our way out of being broke. Broke Dh's heart at the time though (i was sad but also it meant a big enough house ofr us- it had been three kids, albeit one tiny, in a two bedroom)

so hey, it had its benefits

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