Throughout 2015 I ran up £20,000 of debt through extreme high interest (aka payday) loans. I only realised I had a problem once everything was sold, everything spent, and no lender (not even the unscrupulous payday lenders) would lend to me.
Depression was the underlying cause of my problem, and once I had a handle on it, I asked HSBC (my bank for 7 years) for a debt consolidation loan: I was spending my entire wage on repaying overdue loans and running up further debt with yet more payday loans to enable me to simply survive from one payday to the next. Their loan would have paid off all 24 creditors and left me with £200 WEEKLY spending money after all bills, food, transport and their loan repayment. As the debt was worth over £15,000, they could instantly declare me bankrupt were I to miss a payment. I even offered a legal letter refusing me lending for the lifetime of the loan, to be sent to HSBC and all past and present lenders.
An elegant, simple solution of little risk to me, little risk to the bank and little risk to their precious shareholders.
It still seems insane, but they said no.
What’s even crazier, is I’ve just had the existing £10,000 I owe HSBC WRITTEN OFF after I complained to Stuart Gulliver, their Group CEO. To be honest, I’d have rather kept the debt and added to it with a debt consolidation loan, as this has done NOTHING to help me. I needed money to pay off other debt including to friends and family.
HSBC promised their investigation would take 5 days. It took SIX AND A HALF WEEKS, during which time I ran up even more debt and have now run out of family and friends from whom I can borrow.
Over 6 months on, I’m now struggling to even put food on my table. I’ve (3 times) had to choose between sleeping on a park bench or walk 10 miles home, when it’s not been possible to fare-dodge my way back after work.
Today, I’ll have to fare-dodge my way into work and blag my way through the ticket barrier at the other end; on the way back I’ll have to walk 5 miles to the nearest station without barriers; I’ll hopefully get home without being caught.
To make matters worse, last month I was paid £700 less because I took more time off due to my depression, which has left me in a complete mess this month, unable to pay for broadband, home phone, mobile phone or electricity.
I’m hoping you’ll find it within your heart to help me BEFORE I’m cut off from the outside world, as I’d really like to say thank you when you do.
I’ve tried to put things right but the banks have stopped me at every turn.
Please help me. You’ve no idea how little will make a difference.