Megan, 48, a mother of three, first contacted PayPlan for support with roughly £22,000 of debt.

Having moved to England from Germany, Megan and her now ex-husband paid six months’ rent in advance to move into their flat.

“Setting up a life in London with a family of four was a financial challenge, as my ex-husband struggled to find a job, and we lived mainly on one salary,” Megan explained.

“Credit cards and loans helped us cover those costs, but when we had our third child, we needed a car to get around, and that added to my debt.

“I was the only one paying back those loans, and after I divorced my ex-husband six years ago, I consolidated my cards and loans and hoped I could manage the repayment more easily as I cancelled all my credit cards.

“After two years, I moved my new partner in with us, and the expenses started creeping up on me again as he was on benefits and didn’t work.

“When the interest charges rose last year (2023), I struggled to repay my debt. At the time, I banked with NatWest for my current account, and they told me about PayPlan.

“I had a long telephone conversation with an adviser from PayPlan to check my eligibility and felt that this concept would take a load off my shoulders.”

After sharing her situation with one of PayPlan’s debt advisers, Megan was recommended a Debt Management Plan (DMP).

“The budget review was very detailed, and there was no blame about any commitments or subscriptions I had,” Megan said.

“It’s up to you to change things or cancel monthly costs. Pets are as valued as kids, and school uniforms are just as important as pet insurance and pet food.

“There was no judgment, just a detailed list of all my monthly incomings and outgoings. I was afraid of being judged about my choices, but I was positively surprised about the professionalism and objectivity.”

Currently paying £680 a month, Megan’s DMP is expected to be completed in January 2027.

“To be indebted feels like carrying a big weight around,” Megan said. “Every time I went shopping or another bill was issued, I was anxious.

“My advice would be to ask for help earlier rather than later if you are struggling with debt, as it affects your wellbeing. It had a big impact on my mood and on the whole family. I was very open about my financial situation with my kids. I explained in detail that their father’s child maintenance payment was considered my income, so I had to cut their allowances to pay for food.

“Being open saves a lot of stress and anxiety for everyone involved.”

If you’re in a similar situation to Megan, contact one of our expert advisers today on 0800 716 239 or use our form to get help online.