Struggling mum who faced jail over thousands for missed bills now debt free

Struggling mum who faced jail over thousands for missed bills now debt free

WATCH HERE: Struggling mum now free from debt after seeking advice from a friend

GB News
Anna Riley

By Anna Riley

Published: 28/01/2024

- 08:00

Marie’s life changed forever after asking a friend at her local church for advice

A single mum-of-four from Leeds has shared her financial struggle that made her sick with worry, ‘embarrassed’ and ‘ashamed’, in the hopes that it will encourage others to seek help to settle their debts.

Marie Bloom was in thousands of pounds worth of debt that had been building up over four years.

Her universal credit payments did not cover her bills and the cost-of-living crisis brought bailiffs to her door.

The single mum, from Leeds, told GB News:Basically all the main bills, council tax, gas, electric, water, all the most important bills were the ones getting neglected because I had to feed the children first.

Marie and financial advice

Marie faced jail over thousands for missed bills but is now debt free

GB News

“I had all the bills ready that I knew were going out that I was in debt with, and I had taken out loans to help me cover things like school uniforms and things I wouldn’t have money for.

“I was literally making myself ill, do you know what I mean, I was actually poorly with worry.”

Marie’s children are now aged between 10 and 19 years old, and at the worst point of her debt, her main fear was trying to pay off her council tax bill, as she knew she could be taken to prison for non-payment.

She said: “My biggest worry was council tax because I’d had bailiffs the previous year as well and I knew it was only a matter of time before they were coming again.”

Marie asked a friend at her local church for advice and was sign pointed to money coaching charity Christians Against Poverty.

Marie Bloom

Marie Bloom's debt had been piling up for four years

GB News

The organisation’s mission is to release people across the UK from poverty, and with their help to budget and seek debt relief, Marie has recently become debt free.

She said: “Honestly it was like a ton of bricks has been lifted off me, it’s amazing, because I’ve suffered for years and years on my own about the debt, and not telling anybody and trying to hide it from people.

“It was really difficult knowing that I was going to bed every night knowing that I was getting in more and more debt and that I couldn’t afford things for my children.

“I was embarrassed, and I was ashamed because I thought everybody thinks ‘she does so well’, and yes I did, but I did so well because I had to.

“I survived on the little money that we had and made sure that the kids had food on the table, a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs, but I struggled to death every day to do that.”

\u200bMarie was pointed to money coaching charity Christians Against Poverty

Marie was pointed to money coaching charity Christians Against Poverty

GB News

Christians Against Poverty money coach Helen Bolton helped Marie to become debt free and she’s seen a steep rise in people asking for assistance.

Helen, like hundreds of other money coaches who work in churches across Britain, aids people in their efforts to get out of debt and helps clients access the support and benefits to which they are entitled, but may not know about.

Helen Bolton, Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre Manager for Leeds, told GB News: “The cost of living has really tipped a lot of people over the edge with things like their gas, their electric, their water.

“I’ve been doing the job now on and off for 10 years and I used to see lots of loans and catalogues, and you know, debt that had arisen because perhaps people were spending on the ‘nice to have’ kind of things.

“What I’ve found in the last 12 months, or more is that more and more of the clients are coming to us where the problem is that they just can’t pay their household bills.”

Sadly, Helen does not believe that the problem is going away any time soon.

“It’s really sad because quite often we see that the budgets we put together are hard going forward even once they’re debt free, it’s difficult to see how they will stay out of debt because their income is not keeping up with increases in expenditure.”

Christians Against Poverty is now also providing free money help online along with their face-to-face money coaching service.

At the charity’s head office in Bradford, Peter Snell, Christians Against Poverty Money Coaching Lead, told GB News about their ‘Budget not Blues’ campaign.

“Money worries are just rubbish. Often, it’s stress, its anxiety, it’s not being able to enjoy life or pay the basics and nobody wants to be in that position,” he said.

“So, we are encouraging people to get a budget and beat those New Year blues.

“Over the next couple of months, there is a budget planner available that people can actually use as a bit of a template with some basic instructions to get their finances organised and feel like they’re starting the year off on the right track.”

It’s hoped the campaign will help people swap winter financial worries for budgeting success and more information can be found HERE

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