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When Mark’s ex-wife left she took with her his 10 credit cards and ran them all up to their limits, leaving him with a debt of £64,000.

“I tried to cancel the cards but the banks told me they could only do that if I physically handed them over,” said Mark (50).  “Even as an unauthorised user she continued to spend money on the credit cards and left me with a huge debt.”

Left on his own, with four children to look after, life was very stressful and even when they returned to his ex-wife, Mark had the Child Support Agency demanding money from him.  He had a well-paid job with the Ministry of Defence but struggled for years trying to deal with the debts on his own.

“I thought I could keep up with the payments.  I was borrowing from one card to pay off another but the interest was getting bigger.  I was paying the minimum but I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I just lost control.”

Mark kept his problems to himself and with no family or friends to talk to he found it all too stressful.  “I had a bit of a breakdown and was on anti-depressants for two years.  I was going into work solving other people’s problems and them having to come home and face my own.”

Mark heard about Payplan from one of his creditors who had sent him a list of agencies who might be able to help with his debt problems. 

“Payplan were helpful and forthcoming, they weren’t judgemental and I felt they were being truthful,” added Mark.  He now pays £75 into his Debt Management Plan (DMP).

Mark now works as a self-employed electrician in Merseyside but life can still be a bit of a struggle.  “I try to budget and keep my outgoings to a minimum.  My house was repossessed so I’m living with my Mum and Stepdad.  I now have a new girlfriend but I haven’t told her about my circumstances.  To be honest it would scare some people if they knew.  I might tell her someday, but not at the moment.”