When i was 21 i decided to take out a store card because i was told i could have the new TV i really wanted without having to pay anything on the day.
I was working at the time and could afford to repay it over 3 months so i never feared getting into debt or worried about interest payments.
As i planned the TV was paid off within 3 months without a single default but by this point i had taken out another 4 store cards. I was able to balance the re-payments but it was becoming more difficult each month.
What i found strange at the time was the number of companies sending me applications for more credit such as store cards, credit cards, loan etc. This is despite me already having credit commitments, which a simple credit check would have shown them.
Taking out more credit became easier each time and within 1 year of taking my first i had 5 store cards and 2 credit cards. This was when i really began to struggle making my monthly re-payments.
The interest and fees from the credit cards were alone taking more than my original monthly re-payment to the single store card a year previous.
My total debt had risen to £10,000 and i was living and shopping on debt with almost every penny i earned going to repay my creditors.
Things got even worse when i was made redundant and didn’t receive any compensation due to having not worked for the company for long enough.
Two years after taking my first store card suddenly i was unemployed, in £10,000 of debt and my only income was job seekers allowance.
How I Resolved My Store Card Debt
I realised at this point i needed to speak with a debt expert and consider entering a debt solution but i didn’t know where to begin.
After searching the internet i decided to call a debt advice charity who explained to me all my options and the solutions available to me.
Even after the first phone i felt like a weight had been lifted from me and the store card debt didn’t feel like the end of the world any more.
The charity explained i should wait 2 months before entering an IVA because i was getting a job so bankruptcy would have been the wrong solution.
Advice For Others
Store cards can provide a necessary service however anyone taking one out should be careful and if you can pay for something upfront then do it.
I could have bought the TV on the day i entered the store but chose to take a store card instead and that led to all the other debt which followed.
I’ll be happy if just one person reads this and learns from my mistake.
[accordion title=”Story By” load=”hide”]Sara Dale[/accordion]