"There’s light at the end of the tunnel"
A South Lanarkshire father of two found himself in a downward financial spiral after an abrupt end to his career left him with £10,000 worth of debt and no income.
Everyday life became a struggle Raemond, 58 when he was forced to bring his automotive business to a close when a customer took him for over £120,000 worth of stock and equipment. He found himself with no choice but to turn to the government for help, struggling to make ends meet with the little money he was receiving in benefits and even having to go hungry just to get by.
Raemond soon found his debts soaring and his bills mounting up and up, leaving him £10,000 of debt that he just couldn’t afford to pay back.
Speaking of his experience, he said: “When I was self-employed, I got used to the good life, shall we say.
“The flash car, the fancy clothes, the expensive watches, the holidays two to three times a year – as you do when you’ve got that kind of money.
“It’s when it’s gone, it’s amazing how quickly everything can spiral out of control. You think ‘what the hell am I going to do? How do I get out of this?’.
With very little income, Raemond found it difficult to find a new job. Struggling to afford to go to interviews or meetings left him in a dark place wondering where to turn next.
“It got to the stage where I couldn’t even afford the bus fares to go and look for a job, because where I live is a very rural community and the nearest town is Lanark – which is about 13 miles away,” Raemond continued.
“People thing £6.50 bus fare isn’t a lot of money, but when you’re on that kind of money on benefits, it’s a hell of a lot of money. That’s basically two days meal money, and the DWP say that if you don’t attend X, Y or Z meetings, we’ll stop your benefits.
“It was that constant threat and the pressure from them that pushed me lower than I’ve ever been.”
Raemond tried endlessly to save the little cash he had to provide for his son and daughter – even skipping meals to ensure that didn’t go without it. There were even times he wasn’t able to make the journey to visit them.
“That was the worst part. At worst I was having a meal every second day, I couldn’t travel down to see my kids,” Raemond revealed.
“When my son was here, I couldn’t take him anywhere and that for me was heartbreaking; not having the money, or if I did have money, I would sacrifice it to treat him and go without myself for a couple of days.
“It was a horrible, horrible, time. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”
Having reached breaking point, Raemond decided to turn his life around and go back into education where he discovered that there was a way out of the situation, he’d found himself in.
“I decided, about 10 years ago, to do something about my life. It got to the stage where it was becoming very depressing, soul destroying; I couldn’t get work back in the industry that I’d loved for over 25 years and there were spiraling debt just mounting up and mounting up.
“With no income, I decided to go back to college and do something with my life; but during that process of going back to school, I found out about debt management, done my research on it and how could I get around this or sort it out.”
Now, after seeing a Carrington Dean advert, Raemond is in a Trust Deed with and is able live worry free to treat his children to memories that will last well beyond his debts.
“Now, after having this in place, I’ve got some extra money every month, and I do treat my son to bits and pieces, days out, and he enjoys that.
“We get this train ticket at least once a month and it can take us anywhere in Strathclyde region, as far down as Girvan or up to Balloch and it does all the trains, the buses, the ferries.
“I’ve actually used that ticket, with him, to take him around some of the film sites…and show him where these films were actually made. That for him was a real buzz.”
Now Raemond has peace of mind that his debts are being managed, he’s proud to look back at how far he has came and what he’s learned.
He added: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel now, and will I go back into that situation? No way, because I’ve learned more about money management, how to spend money, how to save money, make sure all the bills each month are all paid – the phone bills, rent and Council Tax.
“I’d say it’s been a 180 degree turnaround for me.”
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