Without wanting to seem complacent, I just assumed my good fortune would always continue. I worked hard and did well. But unfortunately we can’t know what is around the corner – and I am only thankful that CABA were there when it all fell apart.
I earn well and have always lived comfortably. A divorce in my 40s impacted on my finances, but I overcame that. Essentially things were comfortable. I worked abroad for a number of years and married again overseas. When we moved to the UK I was doing very nicely as an advisor to a banker – helping him set up in Europe and so on. My wife and I have a teenage daughter, so despite approaching retirement age, I had no intention of finishing work and in fact did not want to retire. We had school fees to pay, a large mortgage and I had a number of credit cards, but I wasn’t concerned about them as I always settled things monthly and I was enjoying work.
All that changed overnight. Two years ago, due to circumstances beyond my control, the man I was working for stopped his business very abruptly. My work stopped, and more importantly, the pay cheques stopped too. Initially I thought the situation would be resolved quickly, so used the credit cards to keep us going. In no time at all the cards were all at their maximum. That’s when the calls from creditors began. Once they’ve got a hold of you, it feels as though you can never get away from them.
I was still hopeful that the situation would resolve itself so didn’t feel I needed CABA to help me at that point. Looking back, I would say I was being stubborn. I shouldn’t have tried to handle it all myself. It wasn’t long before I had to ask my daughter’s school for a bursary. The mortgage was in arrears. I couldn’t even find the money to put petrol in my car. Debt collectors from the tax authorities came to the house. It was certainly a very difficult time.
Eventually I found myself phoning CABA. I talked and talked. The advisor was a very good listener – that really helped. I’m sure counselling would have been helpful at the time, but I found talking to my advisor was sufficient. We, as a profession are extremely lucky to have the kind of support they can offer. They gave my family a monthly grant until I was able to sell the house and rent somewhere more affordable. And they got the creditors in-line by negotiating reduced payments for a period so I had some time to sort things out.
I now have some work, and it is building. Although I imagine we will struggle to get a mortgage again, we are going in the right direction. And I’ve since come to realise what else CABA can do for me. I’ve always looked after all the finances and paperwork for the house, as my wife doesn’t have a thorough understanding of the legal system – how to deal with wills and so on. I’m a bit older than her so it’s good to know that CABA will be there to advise and support her and my daughter in the future should anything happen to me. It’s good to know that she will be looked after.
To anyone reading this and feeling under pressure of any kind, I would say phone CABA today. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn how they can help. Misfortunes can happen to anyone, but creditors behave entirely differently when they know you have the weight of an organisation like CABA behind you.
For advice and information call +44 (0) 1788 556 366 or chat to an advisor online 24 hours a day.
*Some personal details of this client have been changed to protect their identity