So far a good day…
But i wonder how long it’ll last. Let me explain.
I may have mentioned a dozen or so times in the past that i was sacked back in September of 2010. And since then i have been fighting with my credit card company, the MBNA, i’ve made countless videos and blog describing just how much i hate them. Well i hate all credit card companies and bank because i personally think they are all evil organisations who’s soul purpose is to make its customers suffer as much as possible regardless of their circumstances.
So anyway, stopped all communication with them, i no longer returned calls and i didn’t reply to letters sent to me, i simply ignored them. Yea i know a bad idea, but i didn’t know what to do and no one seemed to understand what i was going through. Yea i make it sound like i’m the only person in the world who has gone through this, which of course i know isn’t true, but no one i spoke to, family and friends seemed to know of anyway they could help, even if it was “Give this number a call, tell them whats going on, they might be able to help” what i got from a few was “Your own fault mate, you got the thing now live with the consequences” which, lets face it, is a great help, so thanks guys, your wonderful.
A few days ago i Googled, something i can’t remember what exactly, and found a website called ‘Trapped’ which is attached to something called ‘Baines & Ernst’ they set up a Debt Management Plan for me, or at least talked about it over the phone, it was fine all seemed to go great, they sent me some paper work and set up to send a man to my door to pick it up on Monday 13th, so it wouldn’t be floating around in the post with all my bank details, so i thought great sounds like a solid set up.
I made a video and explained all this, then i received a phone call a friend saying “STAY AWAY FROM THEM and call the Citizens Advice Bureau instead they helped me out a few years back” why he didn’t mention this before i don’t know, but anyway, in the space of a few hours i went from knowing nothing and thinking that the MBNA was going go to screw me sidewise.
I called the Citizens Advise Bureau and they even told me to stay away from companies that take a fee for a DMP, indecently the Advice Bureau is government funded and don’t take a fee. They asked me to call the National Debt Line and i spoke to a love guy who gave me great advice and also told me to stay away from companies that take a fee. He asked me questions and did a Financial statement which details what i get from my Job Seekers Allowance each month and what my out goings are, then, what ever is left is what i can pay the MBNA on the Credit Card. An information pack with a letter to send the MBNA and the financial statement are being sent to me.
So today, I called Baines & Ernst are told them that i wanted to ‘shop’ around for a better deal, i was nice about it and the woman i spoke was pleasant enough, i told her that i hadn’t yet filled out the documents they sent me and that i wanted to cancel the Monday Pick up, she also ask if she should cancel the Monday payment, which i of course ask her to do so. I will however be keeping an eye on my Bank account on Monday, just in case, and i’ll tell you why. Yesterday i Googled Baines & Ernst Reviews, and they are rated for Debt Management Plans at 53%, The reviews i read were either 1 star or 5 stars. And after reading them i find that most of the 5 star reviews sounded the same, used the same language which made me fill like they were written by the same person, and that that person was trying to change the rating to a better one. A lot of the bad reviews were about Baines & Ernst taking money with out asking or being authorised to do so, which is why i’m going to keep an eye on my bank account on Monday. For some reason, after reading those reviews, i no longer trust them to help me, but only to help themselves.
Also today i called my Mobile phone carrier, ‘O2’ and asked to lower my tariff, which , again the woman i spoke to seemed very nice and willing to do so, and i reduced it enough to save myself £10 a month, which when you have no money, helps.
I called the Citizens Advice Bureau again to arrange an appointment to talk to someone, but no dice, i had to call the MBNA first and see how that went, if it goes badly i’m to call the CAB again and get an appointment, only then would they see me.
So i called the MBNA, i hate calling them because they never seemed to care. But i did so and as soon as i started to talk to the woman on the other end i told her that i’d spoken to the Citizens Advice Bureau and the National Debt Line at which point she seemed to list more closely to what i was saying. I explained my situation, my JSA benefits and my out goings and she did, yet another, Financial Statement, we talked for a bit about payments, and how much i can afford to pay, then i asked her if she could freeze the interest and all other charges on my account, which she did, without any discussion, and before we finished i had to ask “So, when you say they are suspended, that means i no longer have to pay interest of the other charges in my account” she simply said yes, and that i’d call to see if my circumstances had changed, and that i should make payment, what ever i could pay, even a fiver just to show that i’m trying to clear it.
So far today i have lifted a hugh stress, and fill better because of it. My only problem is this. Why didn’t anyone tell me about the Citizens Advice Bureau before, it could have solved my problems a long time ago, the people at the Job Centre, who you’d think would at least know about it, and the mate who told me about them, why didn’t he tell me about them before. That annoys me. If i hear a friend talking about credit card debt or any other debt for that matter, and that they can’t pay it, i’ll tell them immediately about the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Notional Debt Line, give them their phone numbers and website addresses (See below).
Now, although i feel a little more stress free i am dealing the MBNA which is part of Bank of America so i’m not sure this is going to be completely stress free, but as i’ve gotten the ball rolling already, it a problem does appear later on i can call the Citizens Advice Bureau and get that appointment i wanted, and then the CAB can help me to deal with whatever happens, they might even deal with it for me.
I want to pay my debt, but the interest and other charges were killing me, i can’t afford to pay them let alone the actually debt. Now that the interest is frozen i can get a move on in clearing this credit card, chipping away at it one payment at a time, knowing that each payment is having an effect on the total i owe and not being washed away by the interest.
The advice i’d give to anyone in debt and being unable to clear it due to a poor financial situation, like being unemployed, like a am, is to call the Citizens Advice Bureau and or the National Debtline (details below).
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE CALL OR USE A DEBT MANAGEMENT COMPANY THAT CHARGES FOR A SERVICE, THERE REALLY IS NO NEED WHEN YOU CAN GET THE SAME ADVICE AND SERVICE FROM A GOVERNMENT FUNDED ORGANISATION FOR FREE.
But of course the best advice i can get anyone is to not get a credit card at all.
The Citizens Advice Bureau;
Tele: 0844 826 9336
The National Debt Line;
Tele: 0808 808 4000