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This is a question Debt pron

Watching TV the other day we caught one of these "Bank of Mummy or the Wife" type shows and we thought, "This is Debt Pron." I.e. peoples financial problems exploited for the voyeuristic pleasure of others. Then we thought, "We bet lots of people on B3ta have massive financial problems. Let's exploit them." So, confess them all. Dodgy credit cards, lending money to some bloke in the pub, visits from the bailiffs, using one card to pay off another. We want to wallow in your fiscal pain. So, what is your biggest money fuck up?

(, Thu 23 Nov 2006, 19:50)
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Debt isn't worth it...
I did a Sound Engineering course at Uni, like hundreds of others. I dropped out after 2 years (Music Tech @ Leeds Met, what a joke) Came back to Scotland, started an HND in Audio Engineering (I actually got to use a mixing desk on this course) So, I owe the SLC £15,000 and counting. I worked all the time at Uni / College, didn't have exotic holidays, I've never left the UK for a holiday in my life. I now work in a recording studio, earn £6 p/h as an assitant, work on average, 50-60 hours a week, I survive on Lentils, eat 2x a day, only go out once a month. In short: I live within my means, very much so. I spent soo much money on music gear at Uni, in the past 3 weeks I've sold it all on Ebay, sooo I'm going to go to Australia next year. I've had enough of this country and its lack of propects and the Governments insitance on helping work-shy, lazy, fools. Don't know if Australia will be any better, but I'd rather be earning minimum wage and being treated like a slave over there, than staying in this miserble country much longer.
I don't have any other debts apart from to BankofDad for my clapped out Corsa, but I do have access to £21,000 of Credit Card debt, the Hlaifax decided I should be allowed a limit of £7,500!! As did MBNA, EGG etc etc.
It's just as well I have self control.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 17:09, Reply)
Debt is a game of silly buggers
@ emvee:

I work for one of the biggest credit referencing agencies in the country and ur way of "building" a credit record up - altho gud in theory - doesnt work.

Credit scoring works like this: to get credit you have to be in debt.. ironically. DONT use store cards - go straight to your own bank and get a credit card. Use it as you would a bank card but NEVER spend more than 30% of your available credit. Pay on time, theres no point in paying early it doesnt really help. make sure u also never miss a mobile phone bill & if you have a overdraft DONT use it.

everytime you apply for credit you have a 'footprint' on your account - the more applcations for credit - the worse your record becomes; because it looks like your desperate for money. these drop off after 12 months so if you're having dificulty getting credit at the moment, wait for 12 months then try again, chances are that you will get what you need - which is lots of interest free dosh!

Also, ignore any store card offer, even if you save 10% on what ever you are buying because even if you just use it the once and then pay it off it stays on your record for 6 YEARS.

Hope thats cleared a bit up... FYI i know all this because i used 2 be in SERIOUS debt trouble but i have managed to pull myself around and even now i still have a 'poor' credit rating hehe
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 17:05, Reply)
A sure fire way out of debt
Well over the course of about 6 years I mist have run up nearly 15 grand in debt, but I found a way to get rid of it!

I moved to the USA. Bye bye debt! Hello fresh credit score!
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 16:50, Reply)
Ex Wifey
My ex-misses decided during a holiday *she* could afford with her mates and rightly deserved and that it was time to get divorced after 18 months of being married.
As with all hard decisions it was best for her to phone me and tell me on her hols before she stepped onto someone elses pole as shes never had an affair!
My sin ? ohh yeah I got made redundant 3 months prior and hadnt managed to get another job therefore didnt deserve a holiday, but I had a decent severance payout and 18k's worth of redundancy insurance (or so I thought!!).
Turned out the IFA that sold me the policy confused pay per week and per month and I ended up with £300 payments per month.. (sued him and won, but took 12 months)

So, thx to the fact I had been overpaying the mortgage I had a small credit buffer which kept the bank from the door.

I decided to sell the house, but not before the ex decided that she wanted to buy it and got some dodgy valuations in. Only a small 90K difference between her ones and my 4 from local estate agents.

The house sold and like all good women she listened to her mates !!
I offered at the time a 50/50 split as we had no kids.
Ohhh no she wanted 80% and thought I couldnt fight because I was unemployed.

To add more fun to the mix her mates convinced her that she should go a spendfest before court to put herself in a debt situation.
We fought via solicitors and barristers and 4 court appearances...

My Situ (now working for 2 years) 4K credit card bill, no other debts.

Her, 42K on credit cards and a declared yearly income of £7000.
My new GF and I did an audit of her statements prior to last court case and created a summary based on her credit payments alone, far in excess of her declared income!!! (being self employed I think mr VAT etc might be interested ).

The best part of the whole process was the judge saying he wasnt interested in any expense that wasnt incurred during the marriage period and that was to be excluded.
She burst out crying shrieking Noooooo!!! She got her 42% and with her legal bills ended up as approx. 12k in debt after all finance is settled.

My advice is 'I have none...'

Today, Great GF - talking bout marriage and kids, own house, nice car, comfortable job.
We both think on the 'cant afford' = 'cant afford'. Day by day its getting better, still have our ups and downs.. but credit is one you can do without IMHO.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 15:47, Reply)
I had..
..a boyfriend who was very good at spending money. So good that he'd dropped out of uni leaving about £10k's worth of debt at various student addresses never to be repaid. He'd buy anything he fancied, regardless of whether it was essential or not (most often it wasn't) but when I suggested he curbed his spending he couldn't see what the problem was. He was also very good at helping me spend my money as well as borrowing it from me. He repaid one debt to me with a new mobile phone cause it was easier to obtain than actual cash. We went on holiday too which I paid for, happily believing that he'd pay me his share eventually (how??). I also had to bail him out of a loan from a mate so the mate could actually buy food for the week - you know, little things. And then we broke up with him owing me £600 - not a lot, but the principle was there - I wanted my money back! So he turned up one day with as much as he'd been able to gather - 2/3s of what he owed me in cash. To this day I wonder who he'd had to go to to get it.

You'd think I'd have learned from this, but no, I leant more to my current boyfriend - who sent me the conditions of the loan, the schedule, basically a contract. He paid every month and paid it off early when his financial position improved. I like this one better...
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 14:58, Reply)
Count yourselves lucky
Several years of Alcohol abuse? Check
A fetish for gadgets? Check
Stupidly getting loans to pay credit cards and vice versa? Check

Total Debt as of today: £32,467.38

I am a fuckwit...
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 14:45, Reply)
On a related note
Here's how to build a credit rating.

Get a Marks and Spencers credit card. Theirs are linked to the big credit agencies. Buy a small item (socks or something) once a month and then pay it off immediately. Credit ratings work like this - if you spend on and pay off your card before the end of the month, you get a "green". If you don't use your card, you get a "black" or unknown. If you spend but don't pay it off you get a red. When assessing your credit rating, they will want to see an unbroken row of greens, and the easiest way to get that is to keep it small and simple.

After a couple of years of this, you'll be able to borrow some quite serious sums of money. And that's how you can get into serious debt :)
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 14:24, Reply)
A friend of mine
Was heavily shafted by Barclays during and immediately post-university, so he now keeps a Barclays account open and uses the card for transactions under £5 - tube tickets, socks and the like - because on transactions that small the bank loses money. He remains a small but persistent drain on their profits.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 14:20, Reply)
$45,000 in debt
A combination of credit cards, car payments and a student loan. Used the last of my credit to ship all my stuff back home and gave no forwarding address.
Take that you Yank wankers!
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 14:02, Reply)
Inheritance to overdraft
Went to Uni in Bristol (UWE not the posh one). This was '94 so got grant (2k first year). Was late with forms so got loan early. Had jobs, got paid shitty money, survived. Second year, grant 1.8k, loan again. However got 5k inheritance from an old woman I met when I was like 2. Cos other family members also died it came to mee - wahey! 2 Technics 1200's and a mixer, plus lots of going out and it was all but gone. No - didn't pay off debt either.

Met bitch while at uni got her up the duff when I was 20, popped out when I was 21. At 21 I inherited 15k - wahey pt2! However bitch mc'cunt spent an awful lot of it and nowt left not long after. a year passes and I have the kid while she does big black men instead (length joke goes here).

So, single with kid, childcare costs loads, working but not getting paid a lot. Didn't know what the government coudl do to help at the time so got loans to pay for childcare etc. Time goes on, 10k inc student loans in debt. Oh.

Blah blah blah, move back oooop norff, rent shitty flat. Eventually buy a not so shitty flat for 27k. Buy house with GF, she sells her flat to pay for deposit and pay off all our debt!

Rent my flat, then sell it! Hurah pt3! Inherit more - huray for money, boo for dead relatives.

Moral of the story? Erm, dead people bail you out? Don't get bitch preggers? Don't spend more than you earn?

Fuck it, it's all a game anyway, who cares!
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 13:31, Reply)
How the fuck do you even get in debt?
I tried my bloody hardest to get into debt, but failed. I needed £1300 to by a new camera off a friend and try as I might, couldn't get approved for a loan, credit card, or anything.

"Hi, Mr. Bank Manager, I need a personal loan."
"Ok, right this way. How much do you need and what for?"
"£1300. New camera"
"Not a problem, and what's your income each month?"
"Nothing. I'm a student, but this is for a job I've been offe..."
"Fuck off. Get out."

Mum loaned me the money instead, interest free, with a very relaxed monthly payment plan. Need a loan? Try MumsBankAccount Direct.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 13:22, Reply)
ever tried to cancel a contract with sky? when i bought my flat, the girls in my old houseshare wanted to carry on the contract, so we swapped the name on it. sky got paid every month, on time, no gap or break.

they are STILL chasing me for the alleged month's ntq. the last time i rang them, about a month ago, i made the girl cry and then i yelled at her manager and finally i got a written apology.

this morning i got a demand from their debt collectors. for fucks sake what do i have to DO to get rid of this?! i don't owe them anything, i never have, i never will, and... argh!
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 13:05, Reply)
Only had a couple of "small fuck-ups"
When I was a student back in Australia, they had this thing call Austudy (not sure if they have it anymore). Basically if your family was poor enough, the government would give you an allowance for you to be able to attend school etc. It was some sort of sliding scale based on assets & income of your parents.

Being in the section of middle class closer to the poor side, my Mum obviously had this organised as soon as I was eligible.

After the first year, they sent us a letter to say they had "changed the rules" regarding the sliding scale. Oh and it was backdated, you owe us $1500. Fine we said, sign us up for it next year, and take the $1500 from that.

So all was well and dandy for another year. Then we got another letter, saying they had "changed the rules" again. This time it was something like $2000 that we owed them.

Mum told them where to go, and she organised to pay it off. At the rate of $10 a fortnight. Three or so years later it was finally paid off. Our little "fuck you" to the man.

Other one was from a loan I had for my 2nd-hand clunker I bought. It was only a small loan, something like $6k AUD. I set up an automatic payment on a Thursday morning every fortnight for the payment, as I'd deposit my pay cheque into the account the day before every fortnight.

This worked out well, but being the spender I am, I would usually have an empty account by the end of the fortnight. Then the company I worked for changed their pay date to a Thursday, and I forgot to change the automatic payment. As my statements were quarterly, and I am naturally daft, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary until reading through my next statement, which detailed how about 40% of my pay was going towards the bank charges for failed direct debits.

Apologies for length and the funny smell.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 11:45, Reply)
Bloody banks.
19, just dropped out of polytechnic. Nearly £300 pounds overdrawn, which isn't all that much really.

Anyhoo, TwatWest decide they want the money back. So they freeze my account. Fair enough, except i kinda need to live. so i speak to them and they agree they will let me get the odd tenner out, but i have to ring my branch (in newcastle) and get them to authorise whichever branch i'm near (normally manchester as i was working there at the time) to allow me to get the money over the counter.

You'll have noticed that i just said i was working. And yes, my wages were going into that account. So I was slowly paying back the overdraft anyway, which TwatWest could see but weren't satisfied.

A couple of months go by, I'm paying back the overdraft and everything's fine.

But no, TwatWest decide to up the ante. they sent me a letter to the effect "as you have failed to pay back your overdraft we have had to appoint someone to daily monitor your account." (but of course, as i can barely get money out then is definitely needed) "this service will cost you £30 per day"

Yes, £30 PER DAY!

Cut to me on the phone to DadWest: "Hi dad, fancy lending me some money...?"

There was another incident where i had an even smaller overdraft sold to the bailiffs, but i can't be bothered remembering it.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 11:34, Reply)
When will people realise that the whole point of the credit industry, is to lend money to those that cannot affort to repay. Thus increasing their debt and the profitability of the credit company. Yes it's cynical, but the most basic of capitalist principles by far. Nobody is forced to sign on the dotted line, it is just pure impatient greed. Some try to justify their predicament by claiming that debts are part and parcel of normal modern life, they are the deluded fools. Anything and everything is affordable with credit, especially to those who believe materialistic posessions will fulfil their sad existance. The reality is that borrowing finance is no different to gambling, the result will always be the same. On balance the future outcome favours the bookmaker in exactly the same way the financial institution. There is no shortage of punters trying to recover their losses, at bigger stakes as the downward spiral takes a grip. Go on, treat yourself to a consolidated loan, you know it makes sense?
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 10:52, Reply)
I've just opened a new bank account. The lady at the bank was gobsmacked when I said I didn't want a credit card, and only needed a minimal overdraft.

I don't "do" debt if I can avoid it. What's the point? I have an 80k mortgage, and owe 10k student loan fees... anything above that would be madness, and in retrospect I regret not turning down the student loan as frankly if I worked harder at the time, I wouldn't have needed it.

As other people have said, the trick is to not spend more than you earn. Not much help for people who are already stuck, but then, it isn't really rocket science.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 10:02, Reply)
my ex
when i was at uni was not very good with money. he didn't know what the "DR" meant on his statement, and in first year he genuinely thought his parents were topping up his account every week. the thick twat.

so by third year the bank have somehow let him get £4,500 overdrawn on his student account. he left his statement on the kitchen table, and on april fools day the other 2 girls we lived with and i had a plan.

my older brother rang him at 9am:

"hello is this mr ex-rachel-swipe?"

him (cockily): "yes"

"this is the gloucester branch of the midland bank. you are £4,501.67 overdrawn. these funds must be re-paid with immediate effect" etc.

from our perspective, it was hilarious. we heard the arrogance slowly turn into defensiveness which quickly slid into panic.

"no, no, no don't do that, i - i'll get my parents to pay it. they won't be happy but they will. no they can pay it for me please don't - YOU FUCKING BASTARD!!!!!"

the worst thing is, this guy had a commission to join the army and is now reasonably high up in the ranks. he's in control of saving the world and he couldn't close the fridge door or understand a bank statement. no wonder we're doomed!
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 8:14, Reply)
At Uni I gradually built up a £2k overdraft, I was in the last year to get grants before the theiving bastards took them away.

Dropped out, no job, thoroughly depressed, ignored regular letters from Barclays 'we are total cunts' Bank.

Eventually the amount went to a debt collector, when I finally did get a job I had to pay back £180 a month, but I didn't get charged ANY interest!

Ha ha ha. I think.

(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 7:46, Reply)
Took the noble way out
About two weeks before I finally filed for bankruptcy, I got a phone call from a lawyer's office. Her name is Bitchy McCuntenstein. Or might as well have been. I couldn't work anything out with her and, of course, I was the biggest waste of time. I did a little research on debt code in the US and found out if they did try to sue, they'd get a fraction of the debt. Called her back again and told her this, telling her I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't get a loan from my credit union or my boyfriend's parents, so I seriously contemplated downing the entire contents of a bottle of night time pain reliever. Sleep it off. For good.

Then I thought about how pissed my mother would be. How strapped my boyfriend would be because he's on disability. Everybody around me.

Finally went to a bankruptcy attorney. They were actually very pleasant people, only getting upset because this was post-reform of the US bankruptcy code and the whole thing sounded like it was a mess, from their view (I actually amused them, I think, with my expeditious nature in getting all the forms and paperwork to them sooner than they'd expected!)

A couple days go by and I get another message from Bitchy McCuntenstein. I tell her I'm filing for bankruptcy and she needs to talk to my lawyer now. In a tone that is usually reserved for 10-year-olds who finally learn how to change their socks, she said to me, "Well, I'm glad you've finally decided to do something about it." I should have told her, "Shut up, bitch. You're losing your commission on this one. And getting much, MUCH less than what the debt's actually worth SO I WIN. Sort of."

P.S.) My debt was about $10,000 more than my income. Do I get some sort of prize?

P.P.S.) I hear all the time about how people in Great Britain are worried their credit card rates will be going up to 10% to 15%. Here in the US, card rates are regularly 20% to 35%.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 6:41, Reply)
"I'll get a credit card, but I'll always pay it off before I have to pay interest"

Why, what a brilliant idea. You're obviously better at managing money than a bank.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 3:57, Reply)
Contrary to my previous gloating post, I'd like to retract that feeling and replace it with despair.

Just found out that rather than being £600 in credit, I'm £600 into my overdraft.

My car is going into the garage tomorrow to have the gearbox sorted (minimum £350, maximum £600+), just bought a new shirt I thought I could afford and agreed to go out tomorrow night

FUCK !! :(
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 0:45, Reply)


I am so hard right now.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 0:24, Reply)
My biggest money fuck up? Probably last year...
...when I spent pretty much all of my student loan on booze and the like. And then bought a fucking Sega Dreamcast with a selection of games. For £100.
(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 23:58, Reply)
Lurking Debt
I have a debt stalking me. It lurks in the closes and lanes. I often find it lurking behind me as I pass pub doors; In fact it is evil and often pushes me into them.

May be it just wants a friend, or maybe it is looking to indulge and grow in stature.

If I was overweight I'd go to the gym. At least large people are not in the habit of grafting more fat on in the theory that it will help lose some...
(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 23:39, Reply)
My father
is not a man you want to meet on business. He works as an EJO, which is the Northern Irish equivalent of a bailiff except without the bloodsucking tendencies and the murderous fees you poor British bastards have to suffer. EJOs are employed by the Government as part of the Courts Service, and act as the absolutely final last chance saloon, brink-of-abyss style saviours of the chronic debtor.

To give you an idea of just how serious the cases he deals with are, bear in mind that they've all been dealt with by private firms, been through court (usually on numerous occasions), and generally are at the point where bankruptcy is no longer an option due to one of the parties involved wanting their money very badly indeed.

A bedridden old gentleman, riddled with cancer with only a few months to live, being told he had to pay his mortgage of £30k or his home would be seized. He died before it went that far.

Early-retirement Lothario who blew his savings on yachts, Alpen ski lodges and other such trappings of the obscenely rich, who sat in his front garden in a deckchair, swigging from a bottle of brandy while his house was all but stripped. His wife didn't even know about the debt until she came home to find the furniture missing.

Successful career-minded woman in her 30s, middle-manager sort, owed about £70k on cards. She was in the tax bracket that could afford to negotiate a decent repayment rate. Then she was made redundant.

He has a very large filing cabinet full of cases like these, and that's just for his small team of 8 men. I just pulled a random one from it, Jackie Mc******* owes the Royal Bank of Scotland £22k from his mortgage. Case has dragged on for 2 years, and he just doesn't seem to have the funds to pay it back. I've got a million of 'em.

The worst one he ever mentioned, and the primary reason behind him taking 18 months off work due to stress and depression, was the tale of two young men in a partnership for some high-capital enterprise. One couldn't manage a stack of pennies, and blew all the capital plus a bit more on what was frankly a load of useless wank. Then he deciding to blow the country, leaving his business buddy to pick up the bits. Even flogging every single thing the business owned only cleared about a third of the debt, so with his personal items next on the list the chap hanged himself.

His son found him.

He was 10 at the time.

Debt isn't funny. This QOTW isn't funny. It's harrowing for the readers, even if it's cathartic for the authors.

To end on a positive note, my father's advice to avoid debt can be summed up in a few lines:

'Don't spend more than you earn. Only use a credit card for the interest-free period. Budget extensively. Get help before it escalates to the point where I call at the door.'
(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 23:36, Reply)
debt advice
Hi gang, just to let you know I work for the Official Receiver and can provide free and confidential advice.

Don't overspend you numptys!
(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 23:13, Reply)
I borrowed three quid of my mate for lunch...He won't be seeing it again despite my healthy bank balance.
(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 22:18, Reply)
Low maintenance
I hate debt, seriously never understand how people can get into so much debt. If you don't have the money for something don't fucking by it retard! Credit card? Fuck off...you want something desperately online then use maestro, then you need to have the money.

Want to purchase something and don't have the money? Well save it up?

The only debts you can get away with are big purchases (car, house etc) the rest is your own fault.

*spot the accountancy student*
(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 22:14, Reply)
FAO: The Apeface Cherub (PETA, please do not read)
Killing your cat does make financial sense, but you don't need a gun, you could just drown it. There - saved you another few quid!

On a separate note, if I ever see that "babble you with science or whatever" woman off that Ocean Finance advert, it's going to take all my willpower not to punch her in the ovary, screaming "It's baffle! Baffle you with science! You stupid thick cow, no wonder you can't manage your finances!".

(, Fri 24 Nov 2006, 21:11, Reply)

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