This is my story
“There is still a fair way to go. I am not jumping over fences with enthusiasm or anything like that, but my optimism is certainly rising”
Dave dreamed of creating the idyllic family home for his wife and two children. He borrowed more money than he could pay off, in order to make sure that the house was complete.
However, Dave says that the debt he accrued ended his marriage.
“It eroded her trust in me, and it all became too much. The hardest thing was the realisation that I was in financial trouble and secondly, as a result of that, it cost me my marriage.
“Going from living in a house with two daughters, two dogs and a big house, to spending a considerable amount of time by yourself, that was horrible.
“I spoke with a couple of the financial institutions and they said they could help me for a certain amount of time.
One of the customer service representatives from one of the banks that Dave had borrowed money from and was struggling to pay back, referred him to Way Forward, where he spoke to Way Forward’s Client Service Manager, Paula.
“You are absolutely drowning in emotion.
“The very minute I hung up the phone from Paula, it was like half a foot had come off my head.
“You can’t function at work, you can’t function as a father, you can’t be expected to bounce out of bed in the morning and do a run or a bike ride. You are crippled.”
“When I was in the mental predicament that I was, it was almost too late.
“Had the person at Bank West not referred me to Way Forward, I hate to say it, but you and I wouldn’t be probably having this conversation.
“Debt has a direct correlation to mental health. You’ve got the talk about it.
There is still a fair way to go. I am not jumping over fences with enthusiasm or anything like that, but my optimism is certainly rising.”
Dave believes that financial institutions should be encouraged to use or promote hardship services more.
“When the red flags go up on the system where you’re probably carrying too much of a mortgage, you’ve got too many debts, that is a red flag.
“They talk about responsible lending, but it is not responsible lending. That’s the big difference between responsible lending and this, there must be proactivity.”