Not even my husband knows

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Debt Issue
Why there is such a stigma attached to seeking debt aid, asks a user Fin24 user. She writes:

I have been a contract worker for 17 years. I earned a good salary but had no perks (like medical aid, pension fund, paid leave or paid sick leave). 

In 2010 the MD of one of my clients called me and offered me a permanent position (the financial manager then was retiring) to start on 1 July 2011.

This was about a year before the time and I thought this would give me enough time to sort out my debt and then be able to work for a lower salary with all the perks (I turned 50 then and had no pension fund and if I took leave it was a matter of no work no pay). 

This meant that I had to drop from +/- R40 000.00 to +/- R21 000.00 in net salary. But with Murphy’s law, my husband and I picked up problems and I left him in January 2011. I had to take my mom and my son with – this meant I had to look for a place to stay and provide for them. 

I had to pay the rent, the domestic, the gardener, the electricity, the food – everything. This dropped me further in debt and no chance to get out and ready for the move to a permanent position. I used my credit card to pay my debt.

In June 2011 I moved back to my husband but the damage was done. I was out of ideas on how to get out of this mess. In May 2012 I turned to a company that provided me with debt management. They took control of all my debt and made arrangements with my creditors, etc. 

I must admit, this did lift the stress of dealing with all of them, but I still get calls from creditors daily (embarrassing because I am a financial manager at my firm) and I can’t get rid of my car which is not practical with the fuel price as it is because I will not get finance anywhere. 

I am not very informed on what exactly will reflect on my credit status at the bureaus and for how many years it will be like that (as I imagine that the arrangement with the creditors will imply payment over a few years). So yes, it brings relief to talk to the right people, but you will never in your life get ahead again. 

At this point in time, I must seek the cheapest hairdresser, can hardly buy gifts for my children for birthdays or Christmas as I am not creditworthy and will not be for a very long time. No one knows that I turned to debt management so they all think I am fine (my husband included) and that is also very stressful. 

People add a stigma to people seeking this type of aid.

So that is my story – I am sure one of a million.

 - Fin24

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