Just last week, Steve and Julie received a very exciting call from us telling them that their hard work and perseverance over the last two years has been worth it – they are now debt free!
When asked how to describe how he felt, Steve said: 'Excited, elated, overjoyed, grateful, amazed, buoyant, joyful and so many other adjectives. Becoming debt free has released all of these feelings and so many more in us. We were chained down; now we are released! We felt oppressed; now we are free! We hid away; now we are stepping out! We felt worthless and now we know we are of worth!'
Steve and Julie came to CAP in October 2012. He says: 'We were desperately going in circles – maxing out the credit cards, extending loans – and simply had no control over our money. We felt ashamed and alone in our struggle, and I personally felt I was letting God down every day of my life.'
'Our debts came from easy access to credit, but things came to a head in 2012 when I was made redundant. After sitting down for the first time and properly looking at what we owed, we found we had £67,000 of personal debt (plus the mortgage). By the time CAP came on board, I had reduced that by using redundancy money to £29,000, but I had no income and no other money.'
Despite this seemingly impossible situation, we were able to help them and last week, Steve happened to be on the phone to us the very moment the news came in that their final debts had been cleared.
At CAP Head Office, we celebrate every single person that goes debt free. We blow harmonicas and a Mexican wave goes across the office, so Steve and his family were able to listen in to this over the phone.
'Hearing the cacophony of noise and celebration was fantastic, and to place the call on loud speaker and share it with two of our children who had been part of the journey with us was also a real joy.'
'We will take away so much that we have learnt by working alongside Christians Against Poverty, such as budgeting and saving, but bigger than that is the love we were shown all the way through our journey, from the moment we first met Angie Rusbridge (our Debt Coach angel!) right through to working with the teams in Bradford. Everyone one of you are amazing.
'My wife often uses a phrase that I am now going to pinch, because right now for us I think it is so true: “Exciting times are coming!”'
Well done to Steve, Julie and everyone else who has worked so hard with us to become debt free. To our clients still working with us, we hope you are encouraged by this story, knowing that one day, we will play our harmonicas for you!