Being one of the more financially capable people in my large family, I often get to hear about all the financial woes and asked for advice by my many siblings, cousins and even elders. I won’t say I’ve heard it all because, well that’s just ridiculous  but I’ve certainly heard my fair share of interesting money stories.

My brother for instance, the brother that said, “I’m getting a credit card to spend money I don’t have”, has come to me on several occasions to borrow money. With every request to borrow, the intended borrower gets their cash, sure I try my best to help out, but they also get an earful of advice, a discovery session to go over their finances and find out where their money holes are and a strict payback plan. I may not follow through on every clause in the payback plan, for example the “if you don’t pay me back on this schedule, I won’t lend to you again” clause…it’s hard for me to not help out when someone comes asking, but those that come to me for a loan know I’m serious.

So this brothers story, the condensed version, goes like this.

He said the above statement, got a bunch of credit cards and successfully spent lots of money he didn’t have. Then he realized that was a problem. He decided the best move was to go to a debt consolidation car dealership, get a car loan for much more than the car was worth and pay his credit card debts with that loan. He got a 10 year old Ford Focus with a loan for about twice its Kelly Blue Book value and an interest rate in the double-digits, but he was credit card debt free!

He continued to spend on those credit cards though. He even paid his car payments with his credit cards. Soon enough, he was weeks behind on most of his bills and racking up overdrawn fees from his bank. I’m not a financial adviser but I work for free so he came to me for help.

He took some of my advice, some of my money and promised to follow up in a few weeks. I didn’t hear much from him but I did hear from my mother that my brother was still struggling and found a debt consolidation company to work with him.

The company he reached out to was similar to IdealDS.co.uk. They do more than just consolidate debts. This company was able to work with my brothers creditors to lower his payments and interest rates. They also provided a lot of information that was able to help my brother break some of his bad habits. I’m happy to say he’s doing much better now financially.