Single Mum Tackles Illness, Debt & Wins!
Karen recently completed a Debt Agreement through Debt Mediators. We gave her a call to talk about her experience, and felt her story was so inspirational we had to share it!
What was happening in your life when you accumulated the debt?
I was a single mum for 10 years and found using credit cards essential, at times, to pay household bills. I was employed at the time as Sales rep, and used to do a lot of travel, which increased my pay by $300 week or more. Due to illness, I stepped away from the sales position and my weekly wage dropped. My daughter then had financial troubles, and I ended up helping to pay her bills. Eventually everything caught up to me and I was unable to continue covering everything. I started a downhill spiral by falling behind in my bill which lead to overdue fees etc. It was a vicious circle.
What was life like when you were in debt?
Horrible!! I was anxious and suffered panic attacks when the phone rang. Someone always seemed to be someone chasing me for an overdue bill. I didn’t want to go out anywhere, and if I did venture our for a family celebration I felt so guilty. I just wanted to be left alone and lock myself away due to bouts of major depression, caused by money problems. I couldn’t talk to anyone about what was happening as felt they would judge me.
What strategies to pay off your debt did you try before you contacted Debt Mediators?
I took a 2nd job on the weekends; refinancing to 0% credit cards interest, payment plan arrangements. It got to the stage my earnings didn’t cover my out goings, so got further and further into debt.
Did you fail before you succeeded?
Yes defiantly, a few times; everything blew out and just got worse and worse. There was plenty of juggling, band-aiding and robbing Peter to pay Paul so to speak until I hit a wall and had no more wiggle room.
What there a “light bulb moment” when you decide to get debt free?
I was looking for the best option to keep the creditors happy & pay everything off without losing my house. I couldn’t refinance as there was no equity in the home. I wasn’t sure what it would entail, but when I did call it seemed as if Debt Mediators was like a lifeline. They offered to assist me to get everything under control. The support they gave me was overwhelming. They seemed to understand that it wasn’t that I didn’t want to pay back what I had borrowed or dodging my responsibilities. I was struggling to get everything under control and in needed an affordable amount each fortnight. They helped me keep my head above water so I could work on repaying my debts.
What was it like working with Debt Mediators?
It was really wonderful. I had been hounded by debt collector calls previously, but when things got started Debt Mediators had all the calls stopped. Not once did anyone ever make me feel worthless or that my fault (although it was). No blame, no judgement or reprimand, it was all about working out a way to address the debt and get me back on my feet. I didn’t have to find any monies up front to pay to enter into the arrangement. The regular calls from Debt Mediators reminded me that they were there for me and my well being.
How did you stay motivated along the way?
I had a date I was going to be debt free. No more bills, no more credit cards, no more debt (other than my house). I never want to feel like that again or get into the same situation financially.
What advice would you give to people who are currently struggling with debt?
To call Debt Mediators or similar agency as soon as you know you’re in trouble. What you experience with debt collectors or creditors can be overcome. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, things don’t always work out the way we want. No person should have to feel unworthy or be judged. They should “Just bite the bullet and do it”. They will be surprised at the outcome and how easy it is dealing with Debt Mediators.
What is the biggest misconception people have about becoming debt free?
That it’s possible, but I have now proved that you can! I am so proud of myself!
How do you manage your money differently now?
Very differently. The money I was paying off my debts, I now transfer into another account, as if I still have the debt. I am hoping to save for a holiday and this year, Christmas will be a lot brighter. Not living week to week or pay day to pay day any longer.
What is life like now your debt free?
I’m still getting used to it. Sometimes think I have forgotten to pay something as I have extra dollars in my account each fortnight now. I have spoiled myself recently with few new outfits for summer, for the first time in years without feeling guilty.