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 new phone? “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.
Jackie arranged a time to meet her advisor, Sharon, in person, and they discussed her options. She didn’t want to put her house at risk but she wanted to plan a way out of debt and the stress that came with it.
“It was always a worry,” says Jackie. “It would push you down.” Sharon recommended Jackie enter a Debt Arrangement Scheme to clear her debts. SDS would contact her credit card companies on her behalf and take care of everything, giving Jackie peace of mind that everything was under control and that there was an end in sight.
Jackie now has a route out of debt and a date circled in her diary after which she will be debt free. But her biggest challenge is changing her spending habits now that she doesn’t have a credit card to fall back on. “I have to change,” she says.
And what advice would she give anyone else in the same situation? “Get help,” she says, “because it makes such a big difference to your life. You don’t have that same stress, you don’t have the worry.
There are people out there who can help you...You’ll be starting afresh, almost. A clean slate.”
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Debts that will not form part of your Debt Payment Program include: Some secured loans Student loans Court fines
A DAS Approved Advisor reviews your income, assets and liabilities to make sure it is the right product for you. A Debt Payment Program is then drawn up which takes into account your household expenses such as rent, food and utilities, and sets out how much you need to pay against your debts each month, and for how long. This ensures that your living expenses are covered, and that debts are consolidated into a single affordable payment.
There is no specified timescale for completion of a Debt Payment Program, as each case is unique and depends on your financial situation. There is flexibility built into the scheme if your circumstances alter, however.
You have more time to pay off your debts Interest and fees are frozen once a Debt Payment Program has been agreed Your creditors are not able to take any further legal action Debts are consolidated into a single payment that you know is affordable because your financial situation has already been reviewed by a professional money advisor Escalating debts are halted, providing some relief from stress You can avoid full insolvency as you will still be paying your debts in full
The Debt Arrangement Scheme, like any debt management product, may affect your credit rating. If you enter into a DAS then your details will be recorded on the DAS register. This is a register which can be accessed free of charge. Creditors and credit reference agencies check this register on a regular basis and may update your credit file to reflect this information. While you have a Debt Payment Program under DAS, you will not normally be able to access additional credit. There are exemptions to this which your money adviser can further explain.
Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.
If you’re a Scottish resident struggling with personal debts, there are a number of solutions available to you that can appease your creditors and put you on the path to financial recovery.