I am not writing this to boast but I am blowing my own trumpet. Pre IVA I was just too blase about money and debt to care about the future. Oh my God what a wake up finding that I couldn't keep going with unsustainable borrowing, you know that feeling that the brick is going to hit you but you can't move out the way! So, for 5 years I lived in the humble land of not having any spare cash, paying back my creditors, who previously had been more than happy to continue to extend my line of credit. It was my decision that I couldn't go on and not one of having my creditors telling me that I won't make the next minimum payment. I think that realisation was the boot up the backside to do something positive about my debt. I sat down with the wife and we cried when we added up all the debt we had, until then we just thought of it as a monthly outgoing and not how big it was or how long it would take to pay back! We researched the debt solutions and thought BR was our only option as we owed ~50k between us. We spoke with a counsellor at Blair Endersby and they suggested an IVA, we didn't jump at the idea as we had never heard of an IVA before that conversation, we spoke to other IVA providers but settled on BE as they had made the proposition exactly as we had described it to them and had in writing any amendments from the 'protocol' at the time. 18 months in BE sold off a shed load of IVA's to Grant Thornton. By this time I had registered on this forum and was quite familiar with all the bad pub that GT was getting, not looking good for the next 3 1/2 years then.. Well how wrong can you be, during the rest of my IVA I had a change of job with a huge increase in wage and work related benefits, GT sorted all this out at my next review as once I reported the new job and income to them the reply was "next review we will look at a new I&E", next review was 10 months away! We managed to save away a lump sum over the next months and used it to buy 'stuff' we were desperate for, not a want but a need. Our payments went up, we knew that was going to happen so no big hardship there, the PPI saga started and a lot of people just left it to their IVA company to sort out, with a 3rd party company taking close to 40% of any PPI compensation. I decided to do it all myself as it wasn't to difficult and the IVA had made me get all the reference numbers and account numbers all together anyway, got a tidy penny back off 5 accounts, paid it all back to Gt which raised my dividend from the initial 23p in the £ to 65p in the £ at the close of my IVA. Here I am now, completely re-educated about income and expenditure, knowing how to budget and where best to shop for bargains. Another new job with a better income, that is now all mine, a savings account that looks like a fairy tale a life where we don't need anything, can spend a little extra on the grand kids and take time to actually enjoy each others company. It wasn't a walk in the park, but it was something that woke us up to debt and how to stay out of it. I have a new car, a credit card, an excellent rating with the credit reference agencies, other than monthly utilities we have no debt.
The only thing we owe is gratitude to all the members on here who were there when we were low, asking our dumb questions about how to keep our head above water and how the hell did we get into this mess?
This is another year end without debt, you that are in an IVA have a lot to look forward too, you may not see it now but believe me it is going to be the best feeling you could ask for.
Happy New Year and stay strong, good luck and best wishes to you all.