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Dealing with debt after Christmas

LIFE STORIES

On the 28th December 2011 Debt Support Trust spoke with a woman in need of debt advice. She explained her story and offered to tell others about her experience of debt. This is her story of Christmas debt in her own words.

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As I pick up the last remnant of the party popper and place it in the already bursting bin liner which has no hope of fitting into the already jammed wheelie bin I ask myself one thing, what now?

Yes Christmas was great, the delight on the faces of my children when Santa had delivered exactly what they had requested, at that moment everything seemed perfect. The thoughts that often passed my mind were never recognised by my children and I firmly believe that is the way it should be. However as I look at that bin bag I realise that very soon the credit card bill will arrive and I have to find a way to at least make the minimum payment. If I had won the lottery this thought would not need to cross my mind, but alas this did not happen. I am sure I am not alone when I tell you 2011 had not been the best of years; I was made redundant and although I felt I would not be unemployed for long and that I could protect the kids, or that our lives did not need to change, I realise it is time to face the truth.

When you first admit you need help you realise how scared you truly are, I have no one I can ask for money so I need to learn how to prioritise. I found Debt Support Trust on the internet and realised I could use the free phone number to get advice. They talked through my complete income and my complete expenditure so they could give me the best advice.

The worst bit was when they asked for the details of everyone I owed money too. I found this embarrassing and was ashamed of how I managed to let things get so out of control. However that said, they at no point sounded condescending or shocked - they put me a complete ease and explained I was not alone. After all details were taken they advised me to contact my creditors and negotiate payments, they suggested making token payments at the moment until I had sought employment and hopefully my circumstances would change. I was unsure how to negotiate but they emailed me a letter template which explained everything each creditor would have to know, this information was fantastic and i'll be sending my letters out next week.

It's bin day today and I have had to sit a couple of bin bags next to the bin, I do hope the bin men take them. I have to clear all the rubbish because it is a new year, I have to start a fresh, I have to take charge of my life. At least now I know what I have to do and I will. I gave my kids their Christmas now I will sort out my mess.

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If you would like to write an article for the Debt Support Trust website about your experience of debt please email contact@debtsupporttrust.org.uk or telephone 0800 085 0226.

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