This is a 3 part post about debt and how I was able to get out of it. Let me start with this:
Before the global recession of 2008, it was very easy to get purchasing power here in Dubai. Banks would come to customers with pre-approved this and pre-approved that.
I fell in to the debt trap. I work for a large company with better-than-others-job-security. Bank representatives would be waiting in our bus pickup location to offer credit cards, loans, etc. Some of them even pre-approved.
So I gave in, I accepted the offer for a loan so I can take driving lessons. When I got the loan, I was also given 2 credit cards and was told that it was included in the account. I didn’t want to use it at first but then temptation kicked in. You know that feeling when you see something that you really want to have that you couldn’t before but now you can because you have a credit card? Yes, THAT feeling.
I did make my first purchase using a credit card eventually which was followed by the second, then the third till it came to a point that I have been buying stuff that I don’t really need.
I maxed out my 2 cards but that wasn’t a problem because other banks are there still offering another card. Next thing I know, I had 5 credit cards!
Thankfully I was invited to one of Truly Rich Club seminar. It hit me like an aircraft hard landing. I had to make some drastic changes. And that’s exactly what I did. One by one I paid off the credit cards and closed them. I was able to top up my loan after one year so I used it to repay some of my other credit cards and then closed them too.
I was able to close 3 credit cards and repaid the balance of the remaining 2.
But then I started traveling. I need to use my card again to pay for online visa applications. That was again the start of a long battle with credit card debt.
Again, I managed to max out my credit limit, but this time I also managed to max out my overdraft.
Some time in 2011, I started missing out on paying my utility bills and I can only afford paying the minimum due for my 2 credit cards. When “B” was born, there were changes that we had to make and additional expenses such as getting a bigger apartment, getting a nanny and all the visa expenses started piling up.
I said to myself, I wont be able to afford paying for all of that and still make my minimum due for my credit cards. At that time, banks have learned their lesson due to the recession. Many people lost their jobs and many people defaulted on their liabilities. I can no longer get a loan. Other people would have just left the country and run away from their debt.
Something had to change. I approached my bank, told them my situation and asked how they can help me.
That would be for “A”nother story.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you get out of it?