Till Debt Do Us Part
Jane is 29 year old, single and a professional in the IT industry. She earns an income of $50,000 a year and owed a total of $75,000 to creditors. The main cause of indebtedness was lifestyle and marriage expenses.
CCS : Why did you decide to apply for and use credit card?
Jane : I was attracted to and enjoyed the novelty of cash rebates and credit limit accorded by the cards.
CCS : How did you feel when you first used the credit card?
Jane : I just used the credit cards without thinking too much about overspending as I assumed I could pay in the following months.
CCS : How did you realise you may have a credit card debt problem?
Jane : My credit card bills started to increase. Each month, I had to use a bigger portion of my salary to pay the credit card bills to the extent that it was more than my monthly salary!
CCS : How did you feel when you realized that you have a credit card debt problem?
Jane : I felt very stressed and pressured.
CCS : Did you share your debt problem with anyone? If yes, who?
Jane : I did not share with anyone except with my boyfriend.
CCS : How did the person(s) support you?
Jane : He supported me emotionally but could not do much as he had lost his job.
CCS : What / who prompted you to seek assistance from CCS?
Jane : I tried to apply for Debt Consolidation Plan (DCP) with a few banks but was unsuccessful.
Then, I was attracted by a Whatsapp message sent to my handphone offering loans, but it turned out to be a scam! I then turned to borrow from licensed moneylender, but this was only a temporary solution.
I was very desperate and returned to the banks to appeal for DCP, and a kind bank employee from one of the banks referred me to CCS.
CCS : One of the main reasons cited for your debt problem was lifestyle & marriage expenses, please share how did you overspend on it?
Jane : I used it to pay for wedding photo package, spent on overseas holiday trips, and bought many items which I put on installment payment through the credit cards.
CCS : How did you manage to make yourself stick to your repayment arrangement?
Jane : I followed CCS’s advice by setting aside a monthly sum to repay to creditors. It also helped that I was promoted and had a pay raise, so I even managed to have some savings at the end of each month.
CCS : What do you intend to do with the monthly installment amount after you have completed your DMP?
Jane : I plan to channel the amount to invest prudently in stocks and shares.
CCS : Please share a word of advice to people who are new to credit card.
Jane : They should spend within their means and always pay the credit card bills in full.
An interview with a CCS Client – This is a series of interviews conducted with Credit Counselling Singapore’s (CCS) counselled clients on our Debt Management Programme.
Profile of the client is presented based at the time the person approached CCS for assistance, which could be as recent as a few months ago or several years ago. Name of the interviewed client has been changed.
These interviews will be published on the 3rd Friday of the month.
Credit Counselling Singapore
Published 15 July 2022.