I first posted on here about 7 years ago, when I was completely skint, neck deep & rising in debt, thoroughly miserable & didn’t see any way out of the situation. Thanks to the advice & understanding I got on here, I ended up in an IVA.
I’d managed to rack up 28k of debt & had basically nothing to show for it. Once I started my IVA, on one hand I felt a weight had been lifted & there was a distant light at the end of a (long) tunnel. On the other hand having zero credit to fall back on was quite a scary thought.
I went through each month learning to budget, finally living within my means & slowly saving whatever I had left over just in case. Frugal but with the occasional reward, & with an eye on the end date the whole time. Minor panic attacks every time I needed to do my annual I & E just in case they suddenly asked for double the money or something ridiculous like that, but it never transpired. I just got on with it, paying back what I could afford to while still having a life & getting by.
Managed to make it to the end & the feeling of getting that completion certificate was huge. I felt like crying, it was finally over. I then went through the process of cleaning my credit files up to prepare for the date when all the old defaults fell off. Typically my file was all over the place so a few months of emails back & forth & the occasional phone call finally managed to get them all cleared up.
I opened a dreadfully high interest credit card & used it once a month for petrol, paying it in full each month to avoid interest. Slowly my credit file got healthier & healthier & then I managed to get a proper card, interest free for 2 years which I rarely use, & will be completely clear before the promotional rate runs out. No my credit files are all in the green, my scores on all of them are in the excellent range & it’s because I’ve never forgotten the lessons I’ve learned during my IVA, they were an incredibly valuable experience.
I’m now saving hard for a deposit to buy my own home, my money is all my own with nobody to answer to & financially I’ve never been better.
No matter how low you get, how hard it is & how hopeless it feels, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I may have had 5 years basically in limbo financially, but the lessons it taught me were invaluable.