Dealing with debt is not an easy process but if you are determined and willing to put an effort into getting out of debt, it can be done.
10 Ways I did to Repay my Debts
When you are in debt, you don't know where to go for help. But as I found out, there are a lot of places where you can get help like the Citizens Advice Bureau here in England. There are a lot of online websites that give free advice on how to manage debts. Be careful not to go for advisers that want money for their advice.
When my debts have piled up and I can no longer manage it on my own, I really needed some financial expert's help. One advice online that I remember was to go to a Citizens Advice Bureau and ask for help. I was too embarrassed at first to ask for help but as I was in deep trouble at the time I had to be brave. I was desperate for help and I needed someone to point me in the right direction. Thanks to CAB and Martin Lewis(money saving expert) I found a way to repay my debts.
Here are 10 ways I did to repay my debts:
1. Seek expert's advice – I went to a Citizens Advice Bureau and was advised that a male volunteer was going to help me. You need someone to point you in the right direction and guide you through.
2. Made an appointment, got all my paper work and had a meeting with the Volunteer (retired accountant) who worked out all my debts. I nearly died when he said I owe a lot of money. I knew I owe a lot but have no idea how much altogether.
Then he called all my creditors on my behalf and negotiated with each of my creditors to freeze all the interests and late payment charges on all my credit cards and loans while I was still looking for a job.
It was near Christmas time when I was jobless, that's why it was not easy to get a job straight away. With my Volunteer's help, my creditors were willing to freeze the interest and even stopped the late payment charges on my accounts. Not all of them did, one of the banks was not happy with my offer so he got a charging order on our property which is now paid off.
3. New Year came, new beginning for me. I got a job, notified my Volunteer Adviser and we had another meeting. The Volunteer advised me that when I get paid, we will work out how much I can afford to repay each of my creditor. He showed me how to work it out.
He advised me to pay all my priority debts first then my creditors second. He advised me that whatever is left from paying my bills like mortgage, food, shoes and clothing, bus fares to work, and council tax, we offer it to each of my creditors.
4. When I got paid, my Volunteer Adviser showed me how to work out my budget. So I started to offer some money to my creditors by now. I was a little relieved that I was doing something positive about my debts. I was beginning to get back my lost confidence by now which is good and even more determined to pay off my debts.
5. I did every over time they offer at work, thinking of my debt repayments. By this time, I was focused on repaying my debts.
6. I took on extra cleaning and caring jobs that I can do in my days off to earn more money to repay my debts. I also applied for a better paying job and was lucky to have got it.
7. I did not go on holidays for a few years, I used my holidays to earn money to repay my debts.
8. I cut down on my personal expenses like clothes, shoes and unnecessary expenses. I even cut my own hair to save money for my repayments. I made my own sandwiches for work. I grow my own vegetables and fruits so I don't have to buy them.
9. I also took good care of myself not to get ill again because when you are in debt, it is really hard not to get depressed at some point. I can't afford to be off sick but some days the debts get you down.
10. After working solid for a few years, all my debts have been paid off, thanks to my own efforts and thanks to the guidance and help of the kind Volunteer Accountant from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Two kinds of Loans to Watch Out For
Secured Loans and unsecured loans are two kinds of loans that I thought I knew what they were but my knowledge was incorrect and the advice given to me by the loan lenders were misleading.
Here's the difference between Secured loan and Unsecured loan:
- Secured Loan - is a homeowner's loan that the lenders will secure to your property so that if you default, they will repossess or sell your house or flat to get the repayments for your loan. They want to ensure that if you cannot repay your loan, they got security. According to Martin Lewis(Money Saving Expert) you can borrow an amount from £5000 to£125,000 but it will be secured to your house or property.
Unsecured Personal Loan - according to Martin Lewis(Money Saving Expert) you can borrow up to £15,000. This is the kind of loan that I had but for some reason the lenders were able to attach a charging order to our joint property.
When I was borrowing the money from the bank, I was advised that it won't affect our property but little did I know, I was being taken to court by the bank that lent me the money when I was in financial difficulty and yet they say that banks are sympathetic to their customers when they are in trouble. Don't believe it.
When I was ill and lost my job, that's the time that the bank took advantage and took me to court. Although, I wrote to them and explained the situation, it had fallen on deaf ears.
My adviser(Volunteer) did reassure me that it is okay for them to secure my debt to my share of our property so that if I default on my payments again, then they can take their money when we sell our house which we have no intention of doing so at the time. The charging order will only be applied to my share of the property. I did think of going bankrupt but it is not fair on my husband.
Anyway, the credit cards and loans including the charging order are now settled. It took me a few years to repay them all but it is done and dusted now. I am debt free now and it feels so good.
Thanks to my own efforts and the help of the Volunteer Adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau who pointed me in the right direction. Since then, I learnt a lot about debt. From now on, I will be saving instead of borrowing. If I don't have money, I just have to go without but I won't be borrowing again to pay for things anymore.
Some useful tips when you are in debt
1. Admit that you are in debt. Ask for help, do not do it alone. You need someone to point you in the right direction. Contact your lenders, communicate with them as soon as possible. This is the first thing you should do to stop the interests and other charges being added to your debts. Some lenders are very sympathetic when you explain your situation. They will stop charging you interest and other charges to your debt when you communicate with them. Ignoring your creditors is not an option.
2. Ask your husband/wife, partner, or trusted friend to help you. Do not hesitate to ask for help, the earlier you deal with your debt, the better to prevent more interest and charges being added to your debts.
3. Search online for help. Lots of websites that give good advice about debts. You Tube is a good place too where you can find great advice. I like Martin Lewis money saving expert website. This is a good one to read. Lots of advice about debts that will help. Martin Lewis has lots of You Tube advices about debts. Borrow books and magazines about personal finance from the library to read. I learnt a lot about debts by reading books and magazines and reading articles online too.
4. Try to eat healthy foods to keep yourself in good health. It is not easy to think about your health but believe me, you need to be strong and fit to deal with debt.
5. Have a goal, make a budget and a plan to finish paying your debt sooner rather than later to save on interests and charges. It can be done I know. I have been there.
Documents about My Debts
People or websites that I referred to when I was in debt
- Martin Lewis money saving expert website - is the one I referred to a lot when I was in debt.This is a very good website to refer to. Martin Lewis have so many useful tips and advice about money. I even got some money back from my creditors by following Martin's advice on his website. It is the unfair charges and over limit fees that the creditors had been adding to my credit cards account. I got most of them back, thanks to Martin Lewis.
- Prima Magazines - has a " Very Personal Finance" page where they give advice about money. I like this magazine but they are very expensive to buy.
- Read a lot of books about how to be debt free and start living. Lots of useful tips but when you are in that situation, it can be overwhelming sometimes. You just have to be strong and make some goals to get out of debt.
- CAB(Citizen's Advice Bureau) – They were very helpful to me when I needed advice. They pointed me in the right direction. One of their advisers helped me how to get out of my debts.
- Online Blogs about debts – Nowadays, you will find a lot of people are blogging about debts or finances. Lots of tips and advices about how to be debt free.
- You Tube Videos – I watched a lot of You Tube videos about debts and borrowing. There are lots of you tubers who give good advice about debts.
I wrote this article to share my personal experience hoping to help others not to lose hope when they are in debt. When you are in debt whatever the reason for it, don't panic, you will find a way to get out of it. It is not easy but with proper help, you will know how to get out of debt like I did. You just have to be brave and strong.
Ways I took to repay my debts
© 2014 Linda Bryen
Ways I took to get out of debt Comments
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on July 17, 2018:
Hi! Dred, thank you for your lovely comment. It was really hard when you are in debt but when you focus and actually do something about it instead of burying your head in the sand hoping the debt will go away, it can be done. It taught me a hard lesson in life but I got over it. It is good to be debt free.
Travel Chef from Manila on July 17, 2018:
Thanks for sharing your story here. I know how hard it is to concentrate working when you're also thinking about your obligations. Good thing that you maintained focus on your goal and finally settle everything. I do hope you will stay healthy. Cheers!
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on July 13, 2018:
Audrey, I have been in debt once and since then I don't want to be in debt again because of the bad experience I had with creditors. I just don't want to go through that again. I hope it helps others who were in same situation as I was. Thank you again Audrey for your lovely comment.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 13, 2018:
You've provided some excellent information for getting out of debt. I'm much more frugal these days and working on getting out of debt. Thanks for your help, Linda.
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on February 07, 2015:
Thank you, billybuc for your kind comment again. You are right if we need it we buy it but if we just want it we don't buy.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 07, 2015:
Very good information, and information that quite a few people need to read and learn. We climbed out of debt as well and have stayed out of it by being frugal and intelligent about our spending choices. Our mantra now is "need vs want." If we don't need it then chances are we won't be buying it.
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on January 30, 2015:
I have been through debts in the past and now I want to save instead. Thanks for your comment. Hope it helps you. Credit cards are okay only for emergency.
Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on January 29, 2015:
Thanks for the tips, kabayan. It really enlightened me to evade the lure of credit cards.
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on January 29, 2015:
Hope it helps you Peachpurple. Thank you once again for visiting my hubs.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 28, 2015:
thanks for the tips, bookmark this page for guide every month
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on April 25, 2014:
Thank you travmaj, once again for your kind comment. I have been thinking whether to publish it or not but this year, I did it. Hope it helps others who are in debt like me in the past
travmaj from australia on April 25, 2014:
liesl - you document this very well. It's not difficult to find oneself in debt but another story getting out of it. I'm impressed by your honesty in such a situation, and this makes the hub so real. Many of us can learn from this. Thank you. Best - Maureen
Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on March 24, 2014:
Thank you CyberShelly for your kind comment. Hope it help others.
Shelley Watson on March 23, 2014:
Good, strong ideas Liesl, thank you for imparting your knowledge. Up, interesting and useful.