Are you considering debt review? Would you like to fully understand the process better? Read Samantha’s* letter and follow her journey through the debt review process with Debt Rescue
“I have always been a responsible person when it comes to finances. I had a steady job, I paid my bills on time and saved what I could. But when my mother fell ill and needed expensive medical treatment, I found myself relying on every last financial resource I had. From credit cards to small personal loans.
At first, I thought I could manage the debt. As long as my mom had the medical treatment that she needed.
As the bills began to pile up, I started paying the bare minimum on each account. I held onto the hope that my mother’s health would improve soon. Looking back, I should have asked for help when I first began feeling the financial pinch. As they say, hindsight is foresight.
Within two years I had amounted to unimaginable debt, without asking for help. I saw my mother’s health deteriorate in front of my eyes. And to add to my stress, so did my finances. With bills, final notices and warnings. How was I going to fix the mess I had dug myself into?
Then finally, everything around me finally fell apart. My phone rang and all I remember was the nurse’s voice explaining that they had tried everything. My mother was gone.
My debt was out of control. I was lost, alone and so afraid. I phoned my best friend and poured out my heart to her.
Two days later she took me out for coffee, we spoke and she told me about debt review. She had just come out of the process and was debt free. She had plans to launch her new business and I was so happy for her. But I did not see how this was possible for me. I was so far down in the debt hole that it couldn’t seem possible that anything could get me out.
My friend picked up my phone and sent a WhatsApp message to me. In a few moments, I explained my situation to the most patient and understanding debt counsellor. They assured me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. That being debt free was possible through a process called debt review.
They reduced my monthly debt repayments by negotiating with my creditors. It was then consolidated into a single reduced monthly instalment, while leaving me with an affordable budget to cover my living expenses comfortably and without stress.
I had to give up credit for the entire debt review process. I was scared that credit, or my “emergency fund”, would no longer be available to me. But I soon learnt to manage with what I had. I even started building my own real emergency fund over time by being clever with my budget.
It has been three years, but as I write this I just want to say, thank you. I am finally debt free. I miss my mom more today, but she would have been proud of me. We really do not understand the unbelievably deep hole that we can dig for ourselves if we cannot manage our debt. My advice to anyone struggling with debt is to ask for help when you first feel that you are not able to manage your money. No matter what, always remember that every success story begins with a single step.”
*Name has been changed