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Charging my Education to the Credit Card

Adam, is 28 years old, and works in medical social services. He earns an income of about $45,000 a year and owed a total of $45,000 to several creditors. The main cause of indebtedness was due to education expenses and a period of unemployment when he relied heavily on credit cards to pay for daily expenses.


The interview:

CCS: Why did you decide to apply for and use credit card?
Adam: I started using credit card to buy things that I want, paying through installment free arrangement.

CCS: How did you feel when you first used the credit card?
Adam: I was confident that I could pay in the following month.

CCS: How did you realize you may have a credit card debt problem?

Adam: That was after I started getting a few credit cards from different banks. Even though I made minimum payment each month for each card, the amount owed did not reduce.

CCS: How did you feel when you realized that you have a credit card debt problem?

Adam: I felt helpless and scared. I was young and did not know how this could close opportunities and impact my life in the future.

CCS: Did you share your debt problem with anyone? If yes, who?

Adam: Yes, I shared with my sister.

CCS: What did your sister advise you to do?

Adam: She was also clueless about resolving debt issue and was in no position to help.

CCS: What / who prompted you to seek assistance from CCS?

Adam: I searched online and came across CCS website.

CCS: One of the main reasons cited for your debt problem was education expenses & unemployment, please share how did this come about?

Adam: I paid for my part-time university course in installment via credit card. I was only paying the minimum amount. I also used overdraft to pay for my living expenses when I was unemployed for 6 months after graduation.

CCS: While on DMP, were there trying moments that made you feel like giving up? If so, how did you manage to overcome the situation?

Adam: Yes. I felt demoralized having to juggle work, pay bills & debt repayment. I (am now) focus(ed) on achieving my goal of debt freedom (which I am) expected (to reach) in about a year.

CCS: What do you intend to do with the monthly installment amount after you have completed your DMP?

Adam: I want to save to buy a house. I do not intend to take renovation loan.

CCS: Please share a word of advice to people who face a debt problem.

Adam: One should remain strong and resilient to go through the repayment plan. Also, when face with difficulties in managing payment, be willing to reach out for help and receive support to get out of the debt situation.

An interview with a CCS Client – This is the second in 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 19 August 2022.