Belfast Telegraph

Mounting debt is putting strain on our family

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

Since my husband lost his job, life has been really difficult for us as a family.

Fortunately he got a new job, but on less money than he was earning before.

The kids have grown up with expectations of being able to do things and live in a certain way, but we can’t afford it now.

We used to have a heavy mortgage but we now rent, although we still owe money on the house.

There are other debts too and although I’ve tried to explain this to the kids, they really don’t understand.

Some weeks there really isn’t enough and although we took out a loan, we’re now struggling to pay that back too.

I really don’t know what is going to happen to us and sometimes I feel like running away. DP

FIONA SAYS: GET ADVICE FROM DEBT HELP CHARITY

Please don't do that. Your family would find it harder still to cope without you.

Your children will inevitably find it difficult to understand if you simply tell them you don't have the money.

If they are old enough, sit them down and show them the figures in a way they can understand — if they are young, you could use a cake.

Show the details of the income and outgoings and ask them to come up with ways of economising or where additional money could come from.

The real issue here, though, is tackling your debts in a more manageable way. The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) was established to help people in situations like yours.

The service is free and you will almost certainly find that your creditors like it because it means they know more of their money will be recovered.

In fact, a lot of the people that use the services of CCCS do so on the advice of their creditors

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