In this blog, I am going to talk about one of the strongest issues that I have seen in my experience of being a care leaver myself, which is all about debt.

In my experience of being a care experienced person, I have experienced first-hand the issues of struggling financially and the reality of how easy it is for a care experienced person to get into debt, especially when not having the same financial assistance as the peers that care leavers might have.

As a care experienced person, it is known and shown that we are needing to learn how to become independent quite quickly and effectively, as sometimes and in my own opinion, we can be thrown into the deep end of the situation and feeling that we have no idea what to do, even when getting help and support from our personal advisors.

In my experience of both being independent before attending university and at university, the reality of budgeting and keeping up with costs is hard, especially when it is your first time living alone. From this experience I was able to learn the hard skills of budgeting for certain costs such as food shopping, rent, washing, phone bills, travel etc. Learning this during my time in the first year of my undergraduate degree allowed me to feel more comfortable during the remaining time of my degree.

However, this is not always the case for people who are independent… For some people who do not attend university, being independent can be a lot worse and can lead to the uneventful outcome of not being able to keep on top of bills and rent. When this happens, it can lead to us getting outstanding debt letters which cause a lot of anxiety and issues eventually.

When being in debt, it is extremely hard to get out of the struggle as depending on how much debt you are in, the metaphorical hole keeps getting bigger and bigger with no sight of being able to get out of it.

In my experience of being in debt, I was never going to see the end of getting letters after letters through requesting money even though I was paying everything off. It felt like it was getting out of hand. At this point, I felt that I could not even breathe without more letters coming through. In the end I told my personal advisor about what was going on and she supported me to get everything under control by making a budgeting plan and ringing the collector’s up to discuss everything and put a plan in place so my anxiety could be relieved.

Being able to talk to my personal advisor and know that I was getting support with the issue reduced a lot of anxiety as not only did it make me feel at ease, but it also allowed me to feel that I was going to get on top of everything once again.

So, from my experience, I would like to give care experienced people some advice…. If you ever experience being in debt and feel that it is getting out of control, never feel afraid to talk to your personal advisor and ask for some help…. As before you know it you will be back in control and feel less worried, as to begin with it can look scary and frightening, but with a little help and support you will get back on top of everything and see a route out of the issue more quickly……

By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger 

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