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taking control of my debt

(24 Posts)
ncpg53 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:44:19

I can't talk to anyone in real life not even DH as nobody knows I'm in debt I've hidden it. The debt built up before we married and I was so ashamed I hid it. It was and is all my debt not DH.

It all started with payday loans. I won't bore you with the details but I got into the trap and when the overtime I'd been paying them off with dried and I took an 11% wage cut it spiraled soon I need more to pay off the last and it came to a head when I had 7 on the go at once and my account was wiped.

I couldn't pay the mortgage or council tax that month and got into arrears with them and the result was defaulting on my credit cards and catalogue accounts and the payday loans. I was broke and broken. That was in 2011.

I spent my energy in paying off the mortgage and council tax and paying what I could to the others but it hasn't been much.

I had DD last year and I've decided I need to take control so I started this week.

I've been in contact with the payday loans to complain about irresponsible lending. I know I took out the loans but they should never have given them or encouraged me to borrow more nd often. One lender has agreed and are refunding the interest and charges on the loans and wiping the default on my credit file. The others I'm awaiting a response from.

I've sent off subject access requests for my credit card and catalogue with a view to reclaim the ppi I didn't even know I had on them until this week.

With any money I get back I plan to make full and final settlement offers to any creditors and ask them to remove the defaults along with it.

It's my plan, it may not work but I needed to start tackling the mountain head on and this is the first step. I don't really have any disposable income but I couldn't keep my head in the sand any longer.

I've been carrying the secret debt since 2011 and it's weighing on my mind heavier every day so I hope you don't mind me sharing.

I know I've been stupid I have learned my lesson and I'm trying to correct my mistake

LIZS Fri 26-Feb-16 18:47:46

Speak to Stepchange - they can help with negotiating with your creditors and managing your budget better in future.

ncpg53 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:55:58

Lizs when it all kicked off in 2011 I sought help from CAB they managed to negotiate payment plans with my creditors but if I stick to it then the debts never really going to be paid off the payments just aren't big enough.

I'm really strict on my budget now, everything is planned right down to the last penny on what comes in and what goes out I've become very savvy at saving on shopping and getting the best deals. I knew I didn't ever want to get caught needing a loan again so I've had to change and be more financially wise

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Feb-16 18:56:11

Your local water board may have a trust fund. You should be able to apply for a payment to help you out of your debt, even if it's just water debt.

ncpg53 Fri 26-Feb-16 19:08:05

Jilted, I'm in Scotland so our water is included in our council tax which thankfully along with the mortgage I'm not out of arrears and have been for a few years and managing to make the normal payments without much stress.

My current outstanding debt is
3 credit cards
2 catalogue accounts
7 payday loans
1 personal loan

Ouch that hurt writing that I don't even want to add up how much they come to altogether I think it could be close to 20kshockblush

slebmum1 Fri 26-Feb-16 19:15:31

Honestly speak to step change, they deal with the creditors, set up a payment plan and you can over pay whenever you like with whatever amount you like. If the debts are significant they probably won't go for full and final settlement if it's not a high enough percentage anyway.

Best thing I ever did.

cozietoesie Fri 26-Feb-16 20:30:12

Can you really not talk to anyone in real life? (I'm thinking DH and family.) Now that you're trying to take control of things, you might find a modest source of funds there that you could pay back without heavy interest.

TalkinPeace Fri 26-Feb-16 21:19:25

Standing orders are your friend
do an advanced search on the first bit of my name and "debt" to see why
you have to come clean with your DH
you and he need to understand what drives each of you
I suspect he currently suspects infidelity past history on threads
your stupid bills will be almost a relief

cozietoesie Fri 26-Feb-16 22:34:53

I'd agree - and remember, you would be talking to him as someone who is acknowledging they have a problem but is trying to take control of it. That's one heck of a head start for you both.

Mummyhey Sat 27-Feb-16 14:44:08

Talkinpeace - I'm new to this site. How do I do an advanced search please?

TalkinPeace Sat 27-Feb-16 18:42:43

top right of the screen, just below menu and my account ....

Allgunsblazing Sat 27-Feb-16 22:15:43

Come clean to us, with exact figures and dates, we won't judge and may be able to suggest a course of actionsmile

AyeAmarok Sat 27-Feb-16 22:23:12

Well done for tackling it. Those calls to the payday loan companies took serious guts to make.

ncpg53 Mon 29-Feb-16 18:52:50

Honestly if I told DH I think he would leave, if i'd come clean at the start I know he would have supported me but to know I've hidden it from him for this long would really hurt him. I've been so stupid, he's always so cautious with money and I have been since this mess.

The payday loans have been the hardest to tackle if i'm honest, they've been an utter nightmare from the start, refusing to arrange repayment plans, raiding my bank account, adding fees left right and center. They've been a lot easier since they got taken to task about irresponsible lending.

I've had an email today from one payday loan agreeing they shouldn't have loaned me money and have agreed to wipe the debt and default and repay me the interest/charges I paid on the loans +8% interest on-top. So it's come to a tidy sum and I've rang one of my credit card company asked what they would accept as a full and final settlement and after a bit of negotiation they've agreed to close to what the payday loan has refunded.

That's freed up a bit of money per month that I can now throw towards one of the other debts, so one weight has been lifted.

I should have never let it get this far, if I had just tackled it like this at the start I wouldn't be in this mess now.

Talkin I'll get an advance search done now, I've got standing orders set up for almost everything on the advice of CAB so that the payday loans couldn't continue to dig into my account to take what they wanted when they wanted.

cozietoesie Mon 29-Feb-16 19:00:23

If he's careful with money, don't you think he must realise that your joint income isn't stretching the way it should? I wouldn't be surprised if he knows at least that something is wrong.

Well done so far though.

ncpg53 Mon 29-Feb-16 20:01:19

He knows I have a personal loan and a credit card but he has no idea of the amount outstanding so he knows i'm paying something off just not how many, how much and that I defaulted because i'm an idiot.

We both have our own accounts and then a joint account which we both pay in a portion of our wages to pay the bills and food, childcare and that sort and then keep whatever is left in our own accounts so I use what i'm left with to pay my bed

I think I am going to have to talk to him though. I'd rather wait until I see where I stand with the remaining payday loans and with the PPI and then come clean about what's outstanding with a clear plan of what I am going to do. I think he's less likely to hit the roof if he knows and can see that i'm trying to tackle it and have a plan in place to do it.

Honestly if anyone reading this is ever considering a payday loan don't do it, it's a trap a nasty downward spiral that just makes the situation worse

TalkinPeace Tue 01-Mar-16 18:08:51

Talk to him.
Chances are he is misreading your stress as something worse than debt.
And get any payment you can onto standing orders so that they start to bite into the capital

cozietoesie Tue 01-Mar-16 19:03:39

You're doing so well with paying things off. Well done on that. smile

mortgagefreesoon5 Fri 04-Mar-16 08:54:59

I was in your shoes 4 years ago OP.
Debt was eating me alive, I also kept it away from OH.
You have a baby, this is your , as a family, precious time, please please don't let debt spoil it.
Money problems can be solved
Speak to Step Change, they were a life saver for me, they won't judge, they are great, they ll help you get back in control.
My OH eventually found out, and yes, he hit the roof but you know what.....he got over it, in fact we both are now more open and switch on regarding money matters.
By the time my OH found out, I was not sleeping, getting stress about opening the post, any phne calls, suffering from anxiety, very snappy etc
Life is to short
I was at one point 28000 in debt, now debt free, made me last payment in November 2015.
Congratulations on your baby

OzzieFem Fri 04-Mar-16 12:21:57

If you have three credit cards then you should be able to transfer the balance of 2 of them to the one charging the lowest monthly interest. Then cancel those two cards. If that will make your third card over the limit then discuss the situation with the credit card company.

Ncpg53 Mon 23-Jan-17 15:48:53

I haven't come back to this post before now as life too over but I thought it right to take stock and update.

I'm now free of all of my payday loans. I ended up taking some to the financial Ombudsman who agreed there had been irresponsible lending and refunded the interest and removed the interest on the loans still outstanding. As a result of this and alot of overtime I've managed to clear the loans off.

I've cleared one catalogue account to almost zero and the 2nd it turned out they didn't apply the default until almost 4 years after I had defaulted and had continued to add interest and fees amounting thousands. I questioned this and they changed the default date and wiped off the charges and interest that had been added up during that period which has reduced that debt down so much so that when my overtime money comes in at the end of the month I will be in a position to pay that off in full.

I've also paid off one credit card so now I've got two credit cards and my personal loan to repay. I've got an arrangement with the personal loan. One credit card has PPI which I'm looking into and if my calculations are correct then again that would almost counter that balance if they agree it is missold.

It's been hard slog and coming clean to DH was so unpleasant it almost broke us but I've worked my fingers to the bone to get into this position. I couldn't have foreseen this a year ago and was in a black pit of worry and stress

Mum4Fergus Mon 23-Jan-17 17:51:26

Awesome news OP smile really well done on what you've achieved so far!

Ncpg53 Mon 23-Jan-17 18:18:40

It's honestly like a weight had been lifted. It's been hard work but I don't have fear answering my phone or the post anymore.

Yes I've had to cut back alot and do alot of overtime but in the long run its going to be worth it. I didn't ever think I'd get out of this debt that I'd be forever drawing in it.

SpudULiked Tue 24-Jan-17 21:28:55

Well done, thats amazing progress.

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