I have unaffordable debt, and I need help!
Debt debilitates people. It affects their physical and mental health, robs them of their self-respect and slowly, gradually, ultimately takes away their sense of well-being having first ended their hopes and dreams.
American financial author and television/radio personality Dave Ramsey advised: “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”
As advice goes, it wasn’t too wide of the mark.
It has never been easier to accumulate debt. We are encouraged to do so all the time with the entire capitalist economic system now appearing to run on tick. As a result, tens of millions of people spend tens of millions of pounds, dollars, euros or whatever else buying what they want when they want it.
Profligacy was anathema to earlier generations, of course. Our grandparents used to warn against this lifestyle, their motto having been, “If you don’t have the money to buy it, don’t buy it.”
But somewhere or other along the road we turned off away from that simple straight and narrow route and instead began to do things another way.
Many have lived to regret that change, having discovered for themselves the wisdom of Mr Micawber’s oft-quoted, recipe for happiness as cited in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds, nought shillings and six pence, result misery.”
As long ago as 1732 physician and preacher Thomas Fuller warned: “Debt is the worst poverty.” Prophetic words.
And in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius cautioned: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.”
There is an even older proverb which urges, “Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more.”
We really ought not to be too surprised, then, to find just how cripplingly undermining debt is; over the centuries – the millennia, even – the warnings against succumbing to it have been numerous, after all.
But at some point some person or group of people, who stood to make an awful lot of money from the process, decided things would be much better if we were all to start borrowing money – from them, of course – and spending it like it were our own. Never have the results of that philosophy been more obvious.
On January 13, 2016, a report by Simon Read appeared in The Independent beneath the headline, ‘Is the UK facing a debt disaster?’
It was a rhetorical question given that the opening paragraph read: ‘Shock new figures published today reveal that household debt has soared by two-fifths in just six months.’ It continued: ‘Aviva’s Family Finances report found that average debt now stands at £13,520 – a climb of £4,000 from £9,520 last summer. It is the highest levels seen in the quarterly survey for two-and-a-half years.
“It is concerning to see that household debt has grown to such levels,” said Caroline Siarkiewicz, head of UK debt advice for the Money Advice Service.
‘The rise in the figure – which doesn’t take account of mortgage debt – means the average amount owed is 24 per cent higher than in winter 2011 when the data was first recorded.
“The alarming levels of rising household debt, along with a recent reduction in income and savings levels, paints an uncertain picture for the family purse in 2016,” said Louise Colley, managing director, protection, Aviva Life UK.
‘Aviva’s reports makes for sobering reading. It suggests average credit card debt has climbed by more than a fifth in the last six months, from £1,960 in summer 2015 to £2,370 now. The amount owed on overdrafts has increased even more quickly, rising by almost two-fifths from £870 to £1,190.
‘Meanwhile, one in four families now owes money on a personal loan – that’s a rise of almost a quarter from a year ago – with an average outstanding balance of £2,080. Over the last five years, mortgage debt has also risen by a more than a fifth.’
So there, in those few paragraphs, you see all the problem areas identified – mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans. Add payday loans to that quartet and you have a full house of debt in its various guises.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Creditors have better memories than debtors.”
But the problem isn’t with debtors’ memories – it’s with their inability to pay, not least because we insist on spending money which we should instead be using to pay off what we already owe.
We borrow too much too readily in living beyond our means. And that translates as more going out than is coming in, resulting in misery as per Micawber.
If we are to escape it, debt must be managed. And almost certainly that will require help from an outsider with a lot of knowledge.
The good news is that such help is available from experts who know exactly what debt resolution entails and understand fully what, under the law, is required of a debtor. That’s a level of expertise most of us just don’t have.
Debt management is the answer to the question of how to get out of debt. So too is our commitment to the belief that debt relief is realistic and therefore can be achieved. Mortgage debt, credit card debt, unsecured loans, overdrafts – there is a solution for all of these.
There are different ways of achieving debt relief, though ultimately each will involve negotiation with creditors. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THE NEGOTIATING, HOWEVER. There are others who will act on your behalf.
But before they can do that, they and you have to sit down and have a very honest, to-the-point, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-is meeting to reveal the full extent of the problem and how it has come about.
Then, armed with that information, your adviser(s) will come up with what amounts to a rescue plan designed not only to ensure your fiscal survival but to liberate you from the hardship in which currently you are entrapped. Getting free of debt isn’t so much a case of beating the wolf back from your door – it’s about making sure it never comes back to imprison you again.
Lenders listen to advisers, negotiators and facilitators they respect. If the debtor’s case is made to them by professionals of proven knowledge, they will do business.
Get Help With Debt certainly tick those boxes. Typically they achieve 80% to 90% debt write-off for their clients, many of whom had feared that they were beyond help.
Lenders know that a GHWD settlement proposal is only made after a thorough examination of all the facts – the size and nature of the debt, the circumstances whereby it has come about, income, outgoings, resultant ability – or inability – to pay, the precise type of loan(s) and the small print of the contract.
Their respect for GHWD stems from experience of having negotiated with them in the past, plus the fact that they are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-licensed and regulated. In bankers’ eyes, THAT gives GHWD real status. It is also the client’s safeguard.
Loans can be re-negotiated. Loans can be written off. Banks know that attempts to recover debt take a lot of their time and money so they do the sums in weighing up how much of both they might have to spend pursuing something that ends up being irretrievable.
Loans are re-negotiated or written off every day of the week, with creditors ‘providing debt forgiveness’ to give the process its legal and technical title.