This is my story
“It felt like you were in an endless spiral of going nowhere.”
Like many young people, Amanda dreamed of buying her first car, and taking an overseas trip.
At 18 years old, she borrowed money to fulfil those goals. But then the unexpected happened a few years later: she had to find funds for medical bills and things started to spiral. She borrowed more money.
“I borrowed a large amount of money I wasn’t really in a position to be paying back. I was so oblivious to my lack of understanding.”
“My interest was so high that half of my payments were going in interest. And that was the case for 2 years, I was going nowhere. I thought that I would just work even harder, make extra money to pay off the interest.
“It felt like you were in an endless spiral of going nowhere.
“I was working so hard, putting all this money away. It was extremely defeating. I was looking into bankruptcy. Somebody put me onto you guys, and it was a lifesaver.”
Amanda describes the interest repayments as “completely depleting, it sucked the life out of me, thinking of how much I was putting in and then how much I was getting out.”
“My mental health was really poor because it pushed me into a state of burnout because I was trying to get on top of it.”
Now that Amanda has a budget and a repayment plan, she feels like she has her life back.
Her advice? “Educate yourself.”
“I had relationships completely deteriorate. My partner and I really struggled for about a year because I was constantly at work.
“My whole quality of life is different now. I can spend time with my friends and family and feel like I have the choice. It’s a feeling of freedom.”
Amanda had previously spoken with hardship services that were unable to assist her given her circumstances did not fit their criteria.
“They have a box, if you don’t fit that box: ‘sorry we can’t help you’.
“You guys crafted a box for me, and if there was something that I couldn’t fit, you were really person centred.
“Everyone from you team that I’ve dealt with, especially Paula, has been absolutely amazing.
“And that made me feel like I wasn’t judged, like you were going above and beyond, and that I matter.
“There is a lot of shame that comes from being in this situation, you feel like you are not good enough because I am in debt.
“I felt like I was heard and that I was worthy enough to be helped. It really gave me my life back. And I am so, so thankful for it. Paula is an absolute legend.
The way that she made me feel, the calming influence that she had, that get me emotional. I was feeling so overwhelmed. She made me it so easy. And I am so thankful. It’s changed everything.”