Jackie’s problem was credit cards. She found it easy to buy what she wanted on credit, because what was another £100 on top of her existing debt if she wanted an MP3 player? “It didn’t matter whether you needed it,” she said. “But when you do that for long enough, as I did, it does build up and it does become a problem.” With four credit cards and a loan, she was struggling to meet even the minimum payments each month, let alone pay her bills. It seemed like there was no way out.
Then Jackie saw SDS’s name on the Citizens Advice Bureau website while looking for more information on how to get out of debt.
Chris had his own business. Everything went fine for a while, but the recession hit hard. Utility bills built up and he wasn’t bringing in enough money. He also had his wife and daughter to support and rent to pay, but he was trying to keep his home life as normal as possible. Not wanting to worry his wife, he didn’t share his problems. He still took them out at weekends.
“It was really quite bad. And from there it just snowballed. It got a bit – a lot – unmanageable,” he says.
June accumulated a large amount of debt on store cards and a credit card, but instead of paying them off each month, she’d spend her money on other things. It got to the point where she was frightened and stressed. “It was awful…” she says. “I couldn’t answer the phone. I was terrified in case it was somebody looking for money, which it usually was. And letters, the postman coming… the amount of times I used to hide behind the door…”