At this time of year, many feel the financial stress. Sadly, some feel they’re a lost cause. Only recently, there’s been another public debt suicide. So I just want to reiterate my ongoing message: For as long as I’ve been doing my job, I’ve never once seen a debt case that’s insolvable.
Interestingly, as I’m writing this, the following email’s just popped through to the team and I. So I think I’ll segue to it for a second. In a good way, it isn’t special – we get many like this – but it’s proof the tunnel isn’t always dark.
As I haven’t been able to ask the sender’s permission, I’m keeping it anonymous.
"If you could pass this on to the right person I would be grateful.
"My wife and I got ourselves into a serious amount of debt, so much so that we were paying utility bills with credit card cheques. After hearing you shouting on the TV about money, etc, some six years ago I did some research and contacted the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. With its help, we got our lives back on track. We are still on our debt management plan, but it’s getting close to ending soon.
"Once again, after hearing Martin banging on about PPI, I moaned at my wife. She then phoned the bank direct, as Martin had said you should do this instead of going with one of the claim companies. After about six weeks, we have had some great news. We had a couple of bank loans, they had upheld the complaint, and are going to repay us £9,000. This will cut our debt by half and bring our debt management plan to an end by July.
"Sorry to bore you, but a massive THANK YOU from us. We have learned so much from you as far as money is concerned. Thank you again."
For more inspirational debt-free stories, see the Debt-Free Wannabe forum board.
Now, of course, in this I’m just the messenger. The real work was done by the couple and by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (now called StepChange Debt Charity). Yet it exemplifies the point that there’s no such thing as an insolvable debt problem. Even when it’s £100,000s from drug or gambling habits, there is always a path.
I’m not saying it’s easy or quick – but it is always doable. Never give up.
If you are struggling, seek help from a non-profit debt counselling agency as soon as possible. The most common message I get when people have done this is: "I finally got a good night’s sleep".