This is my story
Emily knew she needed to leave her relationship, and that this was going to cost. She needed money to pay legal fees and something left over for her and her two children to live off.
After borrowing $15,000 to pay lawyers, she quickly spiralled, ending up with multitude of payday loans. She fell into a trap of borrowing to pay down the most pressing repayments.
“I was stuck in limbo and getting deeper into debt.”
“I would watch the amounts I needed to repay on those payday loans get bigger and bigger.”
At this point, Emily had tried a few different things to get on top of her debts.
She had spoken to a debt consolidation company, but after realising that the company would not guarantee an outcome and could advise she declare bankruptcy, even after she had paid their fees. Emily also did not want to be advised to declare bankruptcy.
“I didn’t want bankruptcy following me around and also meant I couldn’t pay off the debt and it’s important that I do that”.
“It was daunting to think of having a bad credit rating for 5 years, and that there is not really any way around it.”
“I also tried to pursue a debt consolidation loan with my bank, but they said no.”
Living instead of existing
Emily was referred to Way Forward from the National Debt Helpline.
“As soon as I contacted Way Forward, everything felt so easy.”
“Way Forward gives you the sense that they believe that you can do this, you can pay off your debts. They make you feel like they’re backing you.”
“They feel like they are advocated for you as a person, and that’s very heartening.”
“I spoke with Bill, who took the problem, and said, we’re going to look after this for you for a while.
“They offered me a solution and I felt good about that solution.”
“Everything has changed – where creditors were taking money out of my bank account, I can now save a little bit of money.”
Budgeting becomes easier
As a single parent on a fixed income, Emily has always used a budget.
“Recently, a medical bill came up and instead of asking to borrow money from family, I had $1000 in savings to put towards that.”
“I was able to buy birthday presents for the kids and do something special instead of buying something tokenistic.”
“I need to upgrade my car soon so I can potentially drive longer distances to a different job, and now I’m considering saving to buy that car rather than borrowing.”
Having recently started her repayments, Emily is relieved that the feeling of constant dread she had from not meeting her debt repayments is now gone.
“Way Forward seem to have a focus on trying to build people back up to regain their independence and self-worth to solving an unsolvable problem and resolve a crisis.”
“It’s so discreet, no one needs to know about this, it feels like it’s between me and Way Forward, and there’s a lot of respect attached to that”
She suggested that people who are struggling, would benefit from thinking beyond what they know about money and finances, because “when you’re in a debt trap, that’s all you know”.
“There often is a way out, we don’t know the right people to talk to.”
“My advice to anyone is is in trouble is to think beyond where you are now, unless you do something active, you won’t get out of it.”