Man stuck in credit card debt after losing his job reveals how he beat him
Jamie couldn’t sleep at night or function properly at work, he had debt on his mind 24 hours a day – “I was depressed and saw no way out,” he told us. But he got out of it, and so it is
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Jamie Evans knows all too well the devastating effect debt can have on your entire life and how easy it is to end up in a nightmare.
Jamie, from Sheffield, took out a credit card to boost his credit rating while he was working.
But things quickly started to get out of hand when he lost his job and relied on cards and loans to pay his bills.
Jamie, 24, explains: “While I was working, I could easily pay the original card bill every month. Then the card company kept increasing my credit limit and as I struggled with money while not working I started relying on it.
Debt, Debt, Debt
Due to Jamie’s good reimbursement record, he got another card very easily and started recording the costs of daily living on it.
With a third card and taking out several payday loans, he quickly found himself trapped in an unmanageable debt repayment.
“I was hoping it would go away, but it’s not,” says Jamie. “The more I tried to plan to get out of debt, the worse it was. I dreaded my phone ringing because I was constantly getting scary calls demanding money that I didn’t have.
Jamie couldn’t sleep at night or function properly, debt was on his mind around the clock.
“When I got a new job, that also affected that. I had to keep running to deal with nasty calls and then spent the rest of the day worrying.
“And I was trying to take care of my mom at the same time, trying to hide all this mess from her. I quickly realized it was a nightmare. I was depressed and saw no way out.”
Find a way through it
Jamie Googled Debt and found StepChange. “I was afraid they would judge me, but they didn’t. The relief after just one phone call was incredible. In just a few months, I felt like I had regained control, with an affordable repayment plan.
“I know I still have a tough task ahead of me, but my debt is going down, it’s not going up. I’m paying my monthly installment for my debt plan and now I have some money left over after paying my bills to have some living.
“I would advise anyone else to get help. If I could go back I would have done it a year earlier and saved a lot of stress.”
Top tips for surviving when you’re in the red
If you’re struggling to keep up with your bills and liabilities, contact a free charity like StepChange first rather than borrowing more to try and keep up.
Keep your finances on track more easily by budgeting. Create two simple columns – entry and exit – to show exactly what you owe and what you owe. Or use an online tool such as moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner. Ask yourself if a money management app could help you
If your debt has become unmanageable, get free, independent debt advice. Different solutions are suitable for different people. You can use an online service such as stepchange.org/DebtRemedy if you are more comfortable doing so than talking to someone on the phone. You can also call 0800 138 1111. Contact your local Citizens’ Council or call the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000.
We also have a guide on how to deal with debt, here.