Chris's Story

"Finding help has made a massive difference"

Chris, 33

An Aberdeenshire dad found himself struggling to manage his finances after a relationship breakdown left him £20,000 in debt.

Juggling the financial challenges caused by parental leave proved to be too much for 33-year-old Chris and his partner, causing the pair to split soon after the birth of their third child. Following the breakup, mechanic Chris found himself unable to cope with the pressure of covering the cost of single life – managing £550 a month child maintenance alongside the sole responsibility for a debt that was once shared with his wife.

Chris soon found himself turning to credit cards and loans in a bid to stay afloat, and soon found himself owing £20,000 of debt.

Speaking of his experience, he said: “The debt had a huge impact on my life.

“I was depressed, stopped looking after myself and lost a lot of weight as I was living with anxiety – it was a tough time.

“My debt was manageable when I was with my ex, but when the relationship broke down, I still had them to pay, as well as an extra £550 a month child maintenance and then the costs of visits to see my kids on top.

“It’s scary how quickly the problems mounted up.”

After discovering the paternity leave offered by his employer was much lower than his salary, Chris opted to use his limited holiday dates to cover time off with the new baby in a bid to regain control of his finances. However, was all too aware that this had an undeniable affect on his relationship with his newborn and his partner.

“The first few months of a child’s life are so important. It’s a chance for you to bond with the wee one and to get to know each other,” Chris continued.

“It’s hard for parents to manage to juggle work and family time and I found it impossible to take extra time off on paternity leave as the money wasn’t going to cover the bills. There was an extra mouth to feed – I had to think about that, but it was tough, and it put a definite strain on my relationship.”

Chris eventually reached breaking point and knew the time had come to stop worrying about his debt and start enjoying time with his three children. After speaking to his local debt support centre, Chris is now in a Trust Deed with the help of Carrington Dean.

“Finding help has made a massive difference,” he said.

“I’m not inundated with people chasing me and hassling me for money. All my debts are being dealt with and, best of all, my stress levels have lowered again.”


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