Radio Presenter: Good morning, my name is Rosie Hakes, and this is today’s version of Us and You. Today’s discussion is about Debt, which has increased rapidly over the last ten years. Many people continue to spend money which they don’t have. One such person is on the line now. His name is Dave who is in debt and unemployed from Lincolnshire. Hello Dave.
RP: Dave I believe from our preliminary discussion you are in debt. Due to your current medical problem which you say has become worse over the last six months you cannot work – is that right?
Dave: Yes it is. I haven’t worked now since I left University – that was over 20 years ago.
RP: Have you been ill all that time?
Dave: I developed my illness at university, and I suffer from stress in a work situation. To compensate I write short stories but don’t have a novel in me.
RP: Interesting! So Dave, how much debt have you accrued?
Dave: Almost £12.000 on credit cards and overdrafts
RP: and what is your income while on benefits?
Dave: Around 10,500 a year which doesn’t include over £7000 in housing benefits.
RP: so, you and your family live on just under £900 per month
RP: how much are you repaying every month to the Credit Card company
Dave: Its a fixed amount of just over £100
RP Surely Dave, you can’t be making much headway into repaying the debt.
Dave: That’s right. In fact, the amount never decreases
RP: How did you get into debt?
Dave: I applied but was economical with the truth. I told them I was a homemaker and that my wife worked.
RP: What does your wife do?
Dave: She’s a carer for our youngest son who has Downs Syndrome.
RP: why did you apply for credit?
Dave: every summer our children would tell us where their friends were going on holiday. I thought then they too must have a holiday. So, I borrowed the money to take them on holiday. I bet that will have a few of your listeners spitting at the radio?
RP: I take it your wife doesn’t know?
Dave: No she doesn’t. In fact, I have a confession to make. I applied for a bank account and credit card in her name. I have run up around £4000 worth of debt in my wife’s name
RP: Your wife doesn’t know . . . So Dave what are you going to do?
Dave: I was wondering why the Credit Card companies let me get into this mess
RP: But Dave, you lied on your application form
Dave: Getting into debt was hardly my doing. The credit card companies and bank allowed me the credit without doing the due checks. They are letting people like me obtain easy money and spend it without thinking how we’re going to repay it.
RP: What happens if one day your illness deteriorates and you cannot repay the debt?
Dave: My debts will die with me
RP: I don’t think so Dave. Your wife will need to repay the debt and it will come as a shock to her to discover she has debt in her name. Don’t you think you’ve been selfish Dave?
Dave: I still say t isn’t my fault . . . surely they need to take some responsibility for my debt?
RP: I wish you all the best Dave, I think you’re going to need it!