You may remember that I recently talked about me moving my Debt Management Plan to StepChange, instead of doing it myself. One of the main driving forces behind that decision was down to the fact that it will save me some time as I not only manage my own debt but the debt of my partner as well.
The plan is set up now and the first payment will be made on the 1st August. I owe a lot of money and I am just waiting for final balance confirmations to come through before putting another proper update on this blog.
I haven’t written much about my own debt over the last few months as I have been writing things to help others. I will try to make sure I keep you all updated on my debts from now on, all going well.
StepChange, thoughts so Far
I always try to recommend the services of StepChange or Payplan as a way to get help with your debts. I used Payplan the last time I got myself into trouble so I know what they can do. StepChange seemed like the next choice for debt pile number 2 and that’s how they were selected.
I have already talked about the initial set up of my Debt Management Plan with StepChange. It was quite easy and quick. Since then I can now login to their website and do a number of things: -
- You can see an overview of all your debts.
- You can inform StepChange when a Creditor changes the debt collection agency used.
- You can adjust the balances of individual debts if they are incorrect.
- You can view statements.
- You can view your budget.
- You can see a list of your payments.
- A budgeting tool is available as well.
A couple of the debts I pay have moved to different debt collection agencies so I have updated the details on the site. I also called StepChange today to provide some more updates and to see what they are like on the phone. I got through quickly and managed to sort out the new creditor details.
StepChange also sent me details of a Bank Account I could get if I needed it. The account is with Barclays Bank and all the paper work was included to allow you to apply. I am with Nationwide now and as I don’t owe them any money I am safe.
How many Debt Collection Agencies have accepted the payment plan?
Most of them have, a couple of them I have called to check and they have put the account on hold whilst they wait for paperwork to come through from StepChange. It has been pretty painless and I suppose that’s because StepChange have built up a good reputation over the years. The usual fan mail started filtering through because I had missed payments, but shortly after that confirmation of the StepChange plan started coming through. More scanning for me then.
What else has changed?
Well I have changed jobs again back to something that pays a bit more money overall. It does mean that I can pay more towards my debts, which is needed due to how much is owed. I changed Jobs in May but the new job didn’t work out for me. It wasn’t challenging enough and so I moved on.
Because I joined my new job just after their payroll cut-off date, it did mean I only received a half wage from the job I just left so money has been extremely tight this month. I have relied on savings and a bit of jiggery pokery (moving direct debits around etc) to survive. It also mean’t that I couldn’t make any form of payment towards the debts. I also faced the same cash flow problems when I left to go to that new job so it has been a bumpy couple of months financially.
That was another reason I jumped to StepChange. I had already missed payments in June so missing the payments for July was not going to go down well. I thought it would be better to set up with StepChange and then let them send all the letters out. If I had less debts, say 10 or so then I probably would have rolled with it but with around 26 debts it was just too much work. I had already gone through it the month before and I couldn’t face doing it again.
I also moved bank accounts as well, which mean’t more changes so it has been a busy couple of months. Things should start to settle down now (hopefully) and I will keep you all updated on my progress.