Hi Everyone, I'm trying to take the first steps to get out of debt. My current situation is this - work full time, divorced and have children in shared care. The only income I have is from my job (80k) about 75k because of salary sacrifice and $350 per month from Centrelink for Family Tax Benefits and Carers Payment for one of the children. After all deductions, I clear $2,020 per fortnight. I do not receive child support even though my ex-husband earns 50k more than I do. Out of my salary, my deductions are tax, superannuation, HECS debt and salary sacrifice for my car. I have 2.5 years left for that then there will be a balloon payment at the end.
I have struggled and had to use what savings I've had to get by each month. I calculated today that I owe 16K. This includes $5,200 left to pay for my son's braces, 6k from a personal loan that I stupidly took out to squash the debt I accumulated when setting up our home. The rest was from an urgent trip overseas to see my father before he passed, then a new fridge, school excursions pre covid etc. I have tried to contact the National Debtline on numerous occasions and get cut off every time. What is the most sensible way forward? One payment would be easier than 10 different payments every month. The interest rate is another problem. I had a direct debt bounce last week and I know this is a terrible place to be. My credit rating is good and at some stage in the future my dream is to buy a house for us but until we're in a healthier spot financially for now it's only a dream. I've thought about trying to get another job but I'm unsure how I could do it when I work 50 hours a week.
I hope someone can share a way forward. Thank you for reading.
EDIT - I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the helpful links and many PM's reaching out. I'm humbled and also relieved that I'm not alone getting out of this deep hole. I can share one positive outcome for today. I phoned my NBN provider and my monthly internet has been reduced to $65. I was previously paying $75! It's probably not a great deal for some but it's a saving none the less. I need to have internet access for research and planning purposes when I work at night after my children have gone to bed. I didn't consider GEM and GO credit cards because I never used the cards! I made a purchase on each last year and filed the cards somewhere never to be seen again. Anyway I contacted Latitude and have reduced both debts to the minimum until I've seen the financial counsellor next week. I was behind on one of them and had to pay $40 to catch up. The next payment is due next week already. I'm trying to get hold of the bank that has my personal loan to ask if anything can be done there. I have opened two ING accounts as per the Barefoot Investor book and will open the rest tonight. I have to contact ING because I couldn't see how to do it in my account!