“I was running out of money, so was relying on credit cards”: Rosie’s story

posted by in Living with debt

With 10% of our clients stating separation or divorce as the reason for getting into debt, it’s the fifth most common cause of financial problems that we see.

This is the situation Rosie* from Leicestershire found herself in when she separated from her partner three years ago.

Already struggling to meet payments to credit cards, she had to rent a property for herself and her daughter to live in. Rosie found it difficult to pay the letting agent’s fees and furnish the home, and soon found her financial situation spiralling further out of control.

“I was running out of money, so was relying on credit cards to go spending. Before you know it you’re filling up the car with petrol and doing the food shopping all on credit card”, Rosie said.

Rosie kept up with the minimum repayments on her credit cards, but this left her with no money to cover living costs.

More people are struggling to cover everyday living costs. 40% of our clients are behind on at least one essential bill.

Family and friends helped Rosie out with unexpected expenses, such as when she needed to buy a new battery for her car, but she also turned to other forms of credit to cover everyday essentials. Like nearly half (49.8%) of clients who have credit card debt Rosie also has a personal loan, as well as debt on a store card.

When she got in touch with us around a year ago we looked into how we could best help Rosie, and she is now on a debt management plan (DMP) with us. For her, a DMP ensured that her money went towards paying her essential bills first, before covering payments to her unsecured debts, helping her to break the crippling cycle of credit.

If you know someone who’s struggling with money, let them know that we’re here to help. Point them in the direction of our 7 Days, 7 Ways email programme, and we’ll send them an email each day for a week, helping them take steps to take control of their debts.

For more information about personal debt in the UK, download our Statistics Yearbook 2014.

*Names have been changed

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At StepChange Debt Charity we want you to be free of debt and save money.

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