Managing Debt can cause you stress, especially if you are in severe debt and can see no way out. You aren’t alone.
I too am in debt. I have faced the same pressures you may be facing, debt collectors calling me, sending me lots of fan mail and the fact that I owe so much money to so many people.
How did I cope with managing debt?
Well one day after lots of the above I decided I needed to start taking action to sort out my debts. I decided that I would setup a debt management plan on my own and see how I got on.
You can find out more about setting a debt management plan in my previous article Setting up a Debt Management Plan.
Whilst it wasn’t easy, once I set up my debt management plan I didn’t get any phone calls or letters for a good few months.
Debt collectors and creditors both have a habit of passing debt to alternate debt collection agencies without telling you. At least that is what I have experienced on several occasions now.
Moorcroft Debt Collection agency is the worst offender so far, failing to update my address with the original creditors TWICE. That’s right they have done this twice.
They also never informed me on both occasions that they were no longer collecting the debt. It is only when the phone starts ringing again and another debt collection agency introduces themselves that you find out.
If a new debt collection agency calls me I usually request the debt collectors written address as well as the account number and then tell them I will be writing to them with an offer.
I try to avoid negotiating on the phone because in my own experience (with at least 16 different debt collection agencies), they will always try to make you pay more than you can afford.
It can be hard to manage if you have a lot of different accounts. The key to it is to be organised and make sure you keep good records of any payments you make or correspondence you may send to a creditor.
How to Keep Track of managing your debt?
I electronically scan in all the documents I am sent. I then have separate folders on my computer for each Creditor. I usually save the document with the date it was sent to me, along with the name of the debt collection agency.
I also have a Spreadsheet which allows me to keep track of all my payments. The spreadsheet I set up has the following information recorded: –
- The Creditors Name
- The Debt Collectors Name
- The Original Balance
- The Monthly Payment
- The Balance owed for that month
- The Balance owed for that month after payment has been made.
I repeat this sheet for each month and in the balance owed for that month, use the previous months balance after payment has been made figure.
Doing the above helps me keep track of whats going on. I also add little notes next to each entry, for example if I have contacted a Creditor or if there has been any changes to the account.
Life is too short
I owe around £50k including my partners debt. I will pay it back but it will take me some time. If a Creditor wants to take me to court because I am not paying them quickly enough, so be it.
I would rather enjoy my life and pay my debt back as best I can but I am not going to kill myself doing so. There are worse things.
I could take other ways out such as an IVA or Bankruptcy but I am not going to do that. I will pay back every last penny and learn from my mistakes. It might be an expensive lesson but it will be worth it so long as I have learned something.