After working eleven years in mining, Brett did what many of us do to keep fit and healthy. He headed to the gym but bad luck struck and left him with a debilitating injury that upturned his life.
Since that day at the gym, Brett has gone through various surgeries, some of them leaving him with life-threatening complications, and a debt burden. As the main breadwinner of the family with two children, a mortgage and multiple personal debts, the financial pressure was a mountain too high for Brett to climb and his bank quickly referred him to Way Forward.
“I was working full-time in a well-paying job but had already racked up quite a bit debt. Then I went and injured myself, which resulted in me not being able to work and going on unpaid sick leave. So basically, I was stuck with this huge amount of debt that I had no way to pay back.”
Brett had to wait approximately 120 days to start receiving income protection from his super provider, “I needed to put my mortgage as well as my water and power bills on hold until I started receiving funds again. It was a struggle and that’s when our hardship really started.”
Before the injury, Brett’s family was already struggling with multiple loans they were barely paying back beyond the accrued interest, “On top of our mortgage, we started with credit cards and moved to online loans. Unfortunately, I got carried away with it paying for holidays and stuff like that, always thinking I could afford to pay them back.”
“Soon enough we were struggling with our multiple debts and my injury really was the icing on the cake. It put a spanner in the works, that’s for sure.”
When Brett’s financial situation became unmanageable, he contacted his bank’s hardship team and was quickly referred to Way Forward. From there onwards, Way Forward renegotiated payment terms with Brett’s creditors alongside a significant debt waiver.
“Way Forward basically consolidated everything into an affordable payment plan, which I’m now paying off every month with my insurance payouts. The repayments to Way Forward are definitely a lot better than what I was paying before I got injured.”
Although Brett is still waiting for his next surgery and his health continues to weigh heavily on his mind, he looks to the future with confidence.
“I’m feeling positive as I’m not so worried about the money side of things anymore. With Way Forward, I can concentrate on preparing for my operation, getting better, getting back to work and getting my life back.”
“If it wasn’t for Way Forward, I really don’t know what I would have done. Wouldn’t have my house, that’s for sure.”
For others struggling with debt, Brett has this advice, “If you’re in trouble, make sure that you contact everybody you have bills or debts with. Then contact Way Forward and get something sorted. Don’t try to avoid it because it’s not going to go away.”
Way Forward helps clients in three simple steps:
Step 1: We evaluate your circumstance and financial situation.
Step 2: We take over negotiations with creditors and act your behalf.
Step 3: We put together a manageable repayment plan and budget. You make one reoccurring payment to us that we then distribute to all creditors, 100% of which goes towards reducing the debt.
If you’re stuck, get help early. Pick up the phone and ask for support. Find out if we can help you.
Struggling to pay for the essentials such as food and rent and want to know more about your options? Our emergency funding page lists some of the available free emergency services and funding if you live in Australia and find yourself in financial difficulty.