Millennials Tell Their Stories Of Debt

I was working in retail filling shelves at night and I got promoted to assistant business manager. It was a huge jump in income. I went up from about $30,000 to about $60,000. Six weeks later, I got a new car, a top-of-the-line Toyota Camry. I was like, “It’s the next thing to do, you buy a new car when you get a new job”. So I had $2,000 for the deposit and it was a $33,000 loan through the seller’s financing company. I assumed that every year my salary would go up with inflation and I thought I could pay it off within two or three years. I don't have the car anymore, it was taken off me when I went bankrupt. I had a single bed. I thought, “Well, I’m meeting people, so I’m going to buy some furniture”. I bought a bedroom suite from Domayne a few months after the car. It was a queen bed, mattress, bedside table, tallboy, and lamps. It cost $6,500. I got an interest-free credit card with a $10,000 limit. I paid $150 a month on a fixed five-year term. My Dad has never been good with money. He’s a truck driver, an owner-trader. For one of his loans to buy a truck, the security was my grandparents’ house. He was about to default on that loan, which means that my grandparents would have lost the house. I was the only one who was financially viable at that point, so Dad expected me to help. I took out a $15,000 loan to pay off his loan. The job I had was killing me. I was working 15-hour days. Over Christmas, I’d be there from 10am until 7am the next morning. It was just too much for me. Retail is exceptionally draining, so it was affecting my mental health. It got to a point where I was like, “I don't want to do this for the rest of my life.” I decided I wanted to study, but at this point, I was obviously in too much debt to do that. I didn’t know what else to do, so I went bankrupt. It will be three years ago on January 4. It was maybe a year and a half after the car loan. It was a total of $65,000 at 22. I spent a bit of time researching bankruptcy, but the longer it took, the more stressed I became. The hard part was it was my Dad’s loan that really kicked me right under. We don’t talk anymore because of it.Honestly, going bankrupt was just extremely relieving. It didn’t really hit me how the repercussions would affect me afterwards. The debt was with me when I was at work, before I got to work, it was the only thing keeping me at work, and work was destroying my psyche. Going bankrupt allowed me to go to uni, to move out of my parents’ house, to work less and focus on myself and my interests. It gave me a sense of freedom and independence, which is what I needed. But every year, I have to fill out a statement of income and make sure I don’t earn more than $52,000 a year, or I have to make repayments to my debt. I couldn’t get an energy provider when I moved house. I couldn’t move telco providers. When I was applying for bankruptcy, I had applied for a credit card. I forgot I applied for it because it took ages. My application was approved just before my bankruptcy went through, but it just sat there. Then in March last year, I moved from Newcastle to Melbourne. I used it for the cost of moving, and then my phone died so I had to buy a new one. The phone was like $2,000. My cost of living skyrocketed when I moved as well. My rent was obviously a lot more, and everything else in general. I was working in retail again, and I thought, “All up it’s $5,000, I can pay it off”. I just paid the minimum to stop the interest from becoming astronomical. Then I also got a tax debt. They audited me for the last seven years. I was like, “Well, no one’s ever shown me how to do my tax, so if I’ve done it wrong, whatever”. I had claimed work expenses, but I didn’t have adequate evidence. It was about $2,000 over seven years. I pay $13 a week, and then if I get a tax refund in the future it comes straight off it. Plus there’s interest.I start a new part-time job in January, with the student union at my university. It’s an honorarium of around $20,000 a year. That’s when I’ll start paying it all off. I don’t work at the moment – I left my last job because it was death.* Surname withheld for privacy reasons.

I was working in retail filling shelves at night and I got promoted to assistant business manager. It was a huge jump in income. I went up from about $30,000 to about $60,000. Six weeks later, I got a new car, a top-of-the-line Toyota Camry. I was like, “It’s the next thing to do, you buy a new car when you get a new job”. So I had $2,000 for the deposit and it was a $33,000 loan through the seller’s financing company. I assumed that every year my salary would go up with inflation and I thought I could pay it off within two or three years. I don’t have the car anymore, it was taken off me when I went bankrupt.

I had a single bed. I thought, “Well, I’m meeting people, so I’m going to buy some furniture”. I bought a bedroom suite from Domayne a few months after the car. It was a queen bed, mattress, bedside table, tallboy, and lamps. It cost $6,500. I got an interest-free credit card with a $10,000 limit. I paid $150 a month on a fixed five-year term.

My Dad has never been good with money. He’s a truck driver, an owner-trader. For one of his loans to buy a truck, the security was my grandparents’ house. He was about to default on that loan, which means that my grandparents would have lost the house. I was the only one who was financially viable at that point, so Dad expected me to help. I took out a $15,000 loan to pay off his loan.

via Millennials Tell Their Stories Of Debt