My debt problem started at 20 when i was sold a mortgage with an endowment policy.
We bought this house 25years ago, with a small deposit and an average mortgage. The father in law was a builder and told us to buy this run down house, do it up with his help and sell it within a few years and move upwards and on wards.
I was a long distance lorry driver, she was a shop worker. We married, with little help from parents with the cost of a wedding or house. it was done on a budget. The father in law moved away and sadly died too young. So the building work was mostly done by me and friends help. Lots needed doing. And I’m still at it. In fact, jobs I did 20 years ago now need doing again. (the debt grew)
In the last 25years we’ve had three lovely children. now 21,19 and a 16yrs. 15years ago the wife became ill. It took doctors a while to diagnose what was wrong. She has ulcerative colitis. This means she spends a lot of time going to the loo. She’s takes lots of tablets and every now and then when it’s really bad has to spend time in hospital. She had to give up work. (the debt grew)
The father in law passed away when he was 48, his brother died of cancer a few years later at 52. I came out of the hospital after seeing her uncle pass away and said to my wife life is to short let’s release some equity in the house and buy a nice car and caravan and have some decent holidays. Something i don’t regret. (the debt grew) We still have our 17year old trooper and 15year old caravan, although they don’t get used very much these days.
Id got a better job working in a brewery ten years ago. More time at home, more money, a nice beer allowance and life was good. We got the family tax credits and finally i thought things were good for the hard working family man. I remember ringing the tax up to say they must be paying me too much tax credit....”no sir, that’s what you’re in tilted to”. Said the very nice man!
Then they wanted a lot of it back! And my endowment policy that i bought after being told that when I’m 45 it will pay my mortgage off and still have enough left over to buy a new car was failing. So i ended up being sold something else im not sure i wanted. A repayment mortgage. This consolidated some of my other debt that was building up. Life wasn’t too bad. After all, you can’t take debt or money with you if you pop your clogs. Things will be ok..... (the debt grew)
I’m 45 next may and not a hope of paying my debts off, never mind buying a new car! In April i will be 3years into an IVA. Something else i feel i was sold wrongly. Things had got hard and we were finding things difficult. Its hard work robbing Paul and Peter all the time. I wanted to go down the bankruptcy road 3yrs ago but the wife didn’t. And the people that sold us the IVA didn’t either. So head down and plod on, good job i can get lots of overtime.
Then at the end of October this year, the dhs told us the wife’s benefits were going to stop. As they don’t think she is ill enough. Fantastic! How do we find that £440 a month?
The house needs work. A lot. The roof leaks in the girl’s bedroom. The roofer what took my £1500 pounds last year to repair the flat roof over the girls bedroom says it’s not his work but the main roof what’s now leaking. I paid him to do it rather than myself because for once i wanted someone who’s meant to know what he is’s doing rather than me climbing ladders and messing about. Wish id done it myself! Both cars need mot’s this and next month. The trooper needs taxing. The list is a large one.
My debts. 70 grand left on mortgage. 40grand on a paragon laon. And im paying £200 a month on a IVA for debts that amounted to about 9grand on credit cards. That lot combined costs me just over a grand a month. I earn 27k a year, with overtime 31k. We don’t smoke, drink, spend lots on clothes, Christmas or holidays. We don’t have expensive hobbies. (just the trooper and caravan which are more garden ornaments these days) we use a clapped out old £200micra to run round with. I do all my own car and house repairs to save money. we don’t go out much. We don’t have the time with me working extra shifts.
Im fed up. I’ve have been feeling the effects of working extra 12hour night shifts lately. This year i was trying very hard to get some money saved up, but its impossible. I dropped my glasses the other day and broke a lense, that was another £50 gone. And now we have lost the wifes benifits.......?
Ive had enough!
The wife has finally accepted that we are never going to finish this house. Its an end terrace on a busy main road, with no parking and no garden. There is no way we can afford to do even the smallest of jobs, let alone consider a new kitchen or new windows. All of which need doing.
For £650 a month we can rent a nice property that needs no work. Has a drive way with a garage. My daughters won’t need to sleep on the living room floor when it rains. And if the roof leaks, its the landlords problem. It would also have a garden we could sit in if the sun makes an appearance. All i want is to do is be able to come home, park my car on a drive way outside my house go indoors without looking at the house and thinking what work needs doing. All she would like to do is go shopping with our two daughters and treat them a little. Perhaps we could if we weren’t being suffocated in debt.
We’ve learnt to live without credit cards. We don’t have an overdraft. My wages go into a co op cashminder account , what is needed for direct debits is taken out automatically into a Santander account were the direct debits are. What little is left in the cashminder account is free money. but that’s just going to paying other bills. (like a new lense for my glasses!)
The wife accepting what we need to do, finding this forum and even writing this has made me feel more optimistic about the future. Almost like I can see a small light in the distance.
We have contacted the IVA people, who have said we don’t need to pay them for six months. The term will be extended. We’ve contacted the co op, which the mortgage is with, and also contacted paragon. In November this year, it will be the first time we haven’t paid our debts. We are waiting to see the citizen’s advice bureau. We have lots of questions to ask. We know there is no quick fix, well perhaps there is, but that’s what got us here.......a quick fix!
There is very little equity in the house if any. i doubt if selling it would cover all our debts. Being realistic, i doubt very much if you would get much change out of 30k doing it up to finish it. And there is no way i can find that money. its very much a builders project to do up and sell on. i have about 17 years left on my mortgage and about the same on the paragon loan i should never have got. And of course now 2 and half years left on my IVA.
Bit of a story i know, but at the same time one im sure you’ve heard before. We should never have started off our lives in debt. We should have rented way back then. All the money we have used trying to prop up this house could have been put into a deposit for a house which didn’t need so much work. Hindsight ehh?
Enough is enough!
I don’t intend to live the next 20years like the last. Im scared and apprehensive, but after reading some off the posts on this forum i know others have been through what we are about to and how their lives changed, im more determined. Things have to change!
I feel we have tried hard to make the IVA work, but as time goes on, feel more like we’ve been sold another quick fix lemon.
Il keep posting on our progress and no doubt batter you with questions.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, its took me a couple of hours to write.
(sighs, feels better. time for a brew!)