5 Years education

The 5 years of my IVA is what I refer to. Oblivious to the financial melt down of my finances was always just on the horizon, but when you speak to your bank manager you really expect helpful advice that will keep your head above water so you can start to make head roads into lowering the amount of the overdraft you rely on month in month. The reality that I was never going to survive Christmas 2009 without missing payments on cards, overdraft and even the rent hit me like a low blow about October that year! I broke down and wept while my bank manager again just suggested an overdraft raise and an increase in the card limit!!! I sat down with my wife and bankruptcy was the only option we had ever heard of and we googled options while we still had internet. Never having heard of an IVA before that day we searched for the nearest, local firm. Ended up talking with staff at Bains and Ernst in Manchester, great talk, loads of information and the options open to us. They even supplied the contact details of other IVA firms so we could see what the industry as a whole had to offer. We went with B&E who were helpful, honest and contactable. This only lasted 2 years as they then sold on customers to Grant Thornton. By this time I had found this forum and all the bad press about GT’s lack of customer support and long closure delays were there for all to see, not a nice thing to find when you believe you have just been sold up the river. Never had a problem with GT, never had issues contacting them and on the occasions I had to they were fantastic, maybe just me but not the picture that was painted by other posters, not to say they didn’t get the shi77y end of a stick. All my reviews were carried out on time, didn’t get a report on 2 occasions but then everything was moving on without issue so not a problem. On to my final payment month of December 2014, the DD left my account and I contacted GT to see if I could cancel the DD, never heard anything for a week so phoned them, nice lady told me they had cancelled the DD the day after my last payment. Next day received an email with thanks to us for no hiccups during our 5 year term, thanks for uplifting the creditor payments due to PPI and a change of job that also included a huge hike in monthly payments, but all within the initial guidelines and never enough to make me feel it wasn’t worth changing jobs.
2 months on without any IVA payments, this is a short time but a yardstick as to how we are going to get along financially in the future.
We still use the budget we had while in the IVA, it worked then and is still working. We have both had Birthdays since our last payment and both of us stuck to our £20 pressie limit we had in the IVA. We need a few things but on the whole we don’t want anything. I still go weak at the knees seeing just how much money is still in our account even after everything is paid out for the month.
The education has worked, hopefully will continue to work. An IVA was definitively the correct option for us and truth be told should have happened at least 3 years before it did, had we been totally honest and informed in our assessment of our sinking financial ship.
I hope that your IVA goes as smoothly as ours did, I hope you find solace in the fact you are not alone in this journey and I hope you see that the blame doesn’t fully lie on your shoulders. I also hope the financial education you learn is a life lesson. Good luck to you all.

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