Jane and James are a beautiful couple who have been together for five years. It’s a second marriage for both of them. Neither of their first marriages worked out, but they know they’ve got it right this time. They describe themselves as a very happy blended family. They both have children from their first marriages and now have a beautiful baby together, completing their combined family unit of 6! They are surrounded by friends and family who would describe them as fun-loving and devoted.
Jane and James are very supportive of each other in their respective family roles. Jane describes James is a very hard worker, earning good money with an incredible work ethic. She has spent much of the last 10 years as a stay at home mum with occasional periods of employment. He totally supports this.
They both brought baggage into their relationship, carried from their previous marriages. Unfortunately this included debt that continued to haunt them in their new life. James had credit card debt and was suffering from the financial demands of a messy and costly divorce whilst Jane was still suffering the financial impact of taking financial responsibility for her two children from her first marriage, whilst receiving minimal child support from her ex-husband. Neither of them wanted to pass this existing financial strain on to the other but having debt as part of their marriage and relationship was something they were unable to avoid.
Adding to this pressure, when Jane’s son who was five, he started showing signs of behavioural and learning difficulties, requiring specialist appointments to search for a diagnosis. The costs of these appointments added up quickly.
When James and Jane found out they were expecting a baby together, they were delighted, but Jane unexpectedly experienced complications during the pregnancy. In the end the baby and Jane were both fine, but she had to resign from work much earlier than she had planned, reducing the family to one income at a time when they really needed the additional money.
Jane and James are proud people and didn’t want to share the burden of their mounting financial situation with their loved ones, so they kept the situation to themselves. But the shame they felt about their situation and not sharing it with others made them feel isolated. Bearing this burden alone made it feel so much heavier.
They started missing payments on bills. The rent for their home got higher and higher, their car started playing up, more and more medical bills, therapies, school fees, child support, food – the pressure was becoming debilitating. In an effort to take back control, they transferred two of their three credit card debts to interest free cards. Initially this seemed like a great idea, but they learnt the hard way that putting additional purchases on the new card, meant they lost the interest free facility. Soon they were paying interest at a higher rate than ever before. It felt like they were sinking and they had absolutely no idea how to get out.
It was at this time that Jane saw a post on Facebook about a company called Debt Angel Solutions. The post told the story of a young family, explaining how they got caught out with debt and how Debt Angels had assisted them. It struck a chord with her so she called and spoke with Kitty. The reality was that Jane felt that they were too far gone to be helped, but none the less, she thought the call might be worth it, if only just to get their story off her chest and shared with someone else, other than just the two of them.
Jane says Kitty’s instant warmth took her by surprise. “She was very understanding and explained that at one stage in her life, she had been through financial stress which actually gave me comfort. I felt like she understood how easily these situations can happen”.
A Skype interview was arranged with both of them, to go through their financials and give Kitty their background storey.
Within the next couple of days, Debt Angels called advising the couple that one of their accounts had been frozen for 6 months, no interest, no repayments! The other two were 3 months and their car loan payments were also able to be frozen. Jane described the relief as enormous; they only had to pay a nominal amount each month to each account, substantially less than the hundreds of dollars they had been previously trying to pay in interest alone. Debt Angel’s strategy was to give them some breathing space and an opportunity to get back on their feet. Jane and James set their sights on doing exactly that.
The end goal was to consolidate all their debt through their bank, but because they had made too many enquiries previously, trying to transfer debt from one interest free card to another, this initially proved unachievable. So instead, Debt Angels managed their debts for a year, giving them the opportunity to save and get back on track without further damaging their credit rating.
By late 2016, Jane and James’ financial situation had improved enough to once again talk to the bank about consolidating. This time they were approved!
We are so proud of Jane and James. They came to us feeling alone, stuck and that they were beyond help. Sharing their story, being open to creating new habits and making use of the space we created between them and their creditors by changing their spending and putting money away, meant that they transformed their situation in just TWELVE MONTHS, taking back control of their finances and creating the building blocks for a life for themselves and their young family full of excitement and possibility.