Today’s post is a special interview with Rob from Debt Advice Blog. Rob’s site was one of the first I came across when I was looking for help and advice on getting out of debt.
There is a wealth of useful information on his website about ways to tackle debt problems. Rob is also publishing an interview with me about my own debt today, so you might want to head on over there after you’ve read his interview below!
Interview with Debt Advice Blog
Q1: Could you tell us about the first thing that you ever got into debt for: what was the reason behind making that first purchase on credit?
The first thing I got into debt for was a personal loan with HSBC bank. The idea behind the loan was to learn drive and by a car. The reality was I went on a spending spree, didn’t learn to drive and got the taste for credit.
From then things went from bad to worse. I felt a rush getting approved for credit and thinking about what I was going to do with the money.
Looking back it’s all very silly but we all do things we aren’t proud of. This is just a case of one of those things.
Q2: At what point did you realise that your debt was out of control?
I was borrowing money to pay for essential expenses such as rent and debt payments. At this point I realised it was time to start sorting things out.
It was like a sudden realisation that, hang on, things can’t continue like this. What are you doing? Why are you here?
Tallying up how much I owed was the worst part. Seeing the financial devastation in front of you makes you either want to run and hide, or work out how the heck you are going to dig yourself out of the hole. I decided to get a spade and start digging.
Q3: What’s the highest your debt has ever been?
Around £60,000. Not sure what that is in dollars, I guess a lot!
Q4: What does your debt consist of (credit card debt, student loans)?
It is made up of a mix of Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Payday Loans, and Mobile Phone Contracts. I said I was silly and that’s the proof.
Q5: How do you intend to pay back your debt this time around?
I am using a Debt Management Plan. This allows me to make reduced payments and get back on top of things. Rather than have a company do this on my behalf, I am managing this debt myself.
Doing things on my own saves money because I don’t have to pay someone to act on my behalf. However if you are in the UK, StepChange Debt Charity can also do this for free.
Q6: What coping mechanisms do you use for managing your debt emotionally?
Much worse things have happened to people. Yes I am in debt, but there are people so much worse off. To some people the amount of Debt I have might seem extreme. It’s only money at the end of the day.
I would have never started my blog about debt if I hadn’t got into debt. Earnings from the blog are now helping me get out of debt. So maybe one day I will earn enough to erase all the damage the debt did. That would be nice.
Another aspect of coping is knowing that things are back under control and payments are being made, it helps a lot.
The loss of control is what gets to a lot of people, if this applies to you then the best thing you can do is to get help. It will make you feel much better about things.
Q7: There are a lot of debt solutions out there, which ones have you tried and why?
Just the good old Debt Management Plan. It works well for me but really, something like an IVA would be better suited because I wouldn’t be in debt as long.
I don’t want an easier option though, as I won’t learn anything from the mistakes I made. The debt will be stuck with me for some time so you can always stop on by and read about where I am up to.
Q8: What advice would you give to other people trying to face up to their debt?
Get help! Talk to others about your debt but most of all, don’t ignore it. Start a blog so you become accountable to your actions. It helps.
Just wanted to say a big thanks to Rob for doing this interview for A Disease Called Debt. If you have any comments for Rob, please ask them in the comments section below.
Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos – “Interview Key Shows Interviewing Interviews Or Interviewer” by Stuart Miles