Category Archives: Client stories

We’re in this together – The MSE Debt Free Roll of Honour

posted by in Budgeting, Client stories, Debt Leave a comment

Thousands of people put their debt problems behind them for good every month. We see that as a cause for celebration, and so do our good friends at

On their forum there’s a very popular thread known as the Debt Free Roll of Honour. Ever since its launch in 2006 this is where people can share their stories once they’ve paid off their debt. And who knows…someone who desperately needs debt advice may find this forum thread and be inspired to deal with their debts too!

Continue reading »


“It completely destroyed my life”: James’ story

posted by in Client stories, Credit cards, Income shocks, Payday Loans 1 Comment

Lots of people use credit in their day-to-day lives, and because they’re keeping up with the payments, trouble never seems like it’s round the corner. But that’s the thing about credit – it’s not a problem, until one day it is.

James* from Bristol had always stayed on top of his debts. He had a credit card with a small credit limit, and a car loan, which he regularly made payments towards. But things changed quickly when James developed a back problem which meant he was signed off work for months at a time. When his period of sick pay ran out, he started to receive Statutory Sick Pay.

Continue reading »


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

posted by in Client stories, Statistics Yearbook Leave a comment

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.

Continue reading »


“If I didn’t pay then the bailiffs would be sent”: Faye and Nick’s story

posted by in Bailiffs, Client stories, Council tax, Income shocks Leave a comment

Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t get into debt because they overspend or live beyond their means.

According to our recently released Statistics Yearbook 2014, the biggest cause of problem debt among our clients is unemployment. Just under a quarter of clients tell us it as the main reason for their debt, with a further 12.8% saying they got into debt after experiencing a drop in income.

These income shocks could happen to anyone. In May 2014, it happened to Nick and Faye* from Birmingham.

Continue reading »


Debt statistics 2014: what do we know about personal debt in the UK?

posted by in Client stories, Statistics Yearbook Leave a comment

We’ve recently released our Statistics Yearbook 2014, packed full of the latest insights into personal debt in the UK.

We’ve delved deep into the millions of records in our data warehouse, to put together this year’s Yearbook. There’s no wonder it’s almost 50 pages long!

Continue reading »


Scam alert! Have you had an email notice to appear in court?

posted by in Client stories, Debt 1 Comment

Woman worried about spam email

Have you received a worrying email?

Spam emails containing viruses aren’t a new invention – they’ve been used by criminals online since the dawn of time. Well, since the dawn of the internet at least.

Although there’s more technology to help us spot spam emails these days, unfortunately they continue to wreak havoc in people’s lives. As well as causing fear and playing with emotions, they wreck computers and drain bank accounts.

Luckily, this isn’t something clients tell us they experience often. But when they do, we want to make sure you’re aware too.

Continue reading »


Taking a bite out of loan sharks

posted by in Client stories, Dodgy practice 4 Comments

Shark attacking

Are you being stalked by a loan shark?

After many years of working in a debt charity, it takes a lot to shock me these days. But what I heard that day made my blood run cold.

“I’m scared, I can’t answer my door, I can’t go out, I can’t stop crying…”

Ann had phoned us for debt advice. She was at breaking point.

“I need help but where do I go? Who do I turn to?”

She was buckling under the pressure and intimidation she was dealing with from what she said was one particular creditor.

“They’re knocking on my door constantly and their threats make me feel even more trapped. My children can’t even go to school because I’m too scared that something will happen to them.”

I was completely confused; creditors don’t do this. What was going on?

Then I realised: Ann was a victim of a loan shark, and their campaign of terror against this poor woman and her family was nothing short of cruel.

Continue reading »