top of page

Case Study: Ian's Story

For the last year, Ian & his partner had been struggling with debt. It all began when their son became ill and needed hospital treatment, meaning time off work and additional travel costs.

As Ian Explains:

“We slipped into the payday loan debt cycle and was borrowing to survive, as soon as you get paid you pay off the payday loans but then having nothing to live on and have to borrow more. I was stuck in this cycle until it all came crashing down, when I didn’t have any money for petrol to get home to my family. I was ready to quit my job as I couldn’t get to work, I really didn’t know what to do.”

After speaking to his boss, explaining his situation and even believing he may have to leave his job as he could no longer afford to get into work, his boss mentioned Freeze Debt after seeing adverts & reviews for the app online. Ian then downloaded the app to begin his journey to clearing his debt.

For many, hearing the word ‘debt’ can lead to the assumption that those suffering are doing so as a result of irresponsible spending, living beyond their means, or purchasing unnecessary items due to vanity driven wants and desires. It’s very common to have credit cards & loans, there is nothing wrong with that it. It's only an issue when a change happens in your life that can put additional pressure and transform something that was affordable debt, to debt which is causing stress, fear & anxiety.

Ian & his partner are examples of this:

  • Ian and his partner were earning a good combined income, but fell into debt due to circumstances out of their control

  • Due to a poor credit rating, the couple relied on payday loans with sky-high interest rates that left them with a quickly increasing pile of problem debt

  • The couple had accumulated joint debts totalling over £17k before seeking help

Infographic breaking down Ian and Amanda's debt. They owed £9846 in payday loans, £2006 on their credit cards, £1699 to debt collection agencies, £1069 to their overdraft, £1927 on store cards, £281 to telecom and £263 to utilities companies. Their debt was £17091 in total.
Over half of the couple's debt was made up of payday loans.

The couple’s credit was mainly made up of payday loans, which are known to charge huge amounts of interest and this was one of the biggest problems that Ian and his partner faced.

The biggest problem they both faced as is the same for many debtors, wasn't necessarily the debt itself, but the unbelievably high interest rates & fees accrued at the hands of ruthless creditors and payday lenders, as borrowers have nowhere else to go.

Borrowers end up getting stuck in the 'Payday Loan Cycle' - where payday loans get paid down at the end of every month, leaving people with no choice but to borrow again to make ends meet until they next get paid, where the cycle starts again.

Ian and his partner were paying £2395 per month towards their debts.

The Solution

Jonathan McCusker, Head of Debt Advice at Freeze Debt, spoke about the app and how it helped Ian access support and advice without the stress of a phone call:

“Like many other customers, Ian came to us because of problem debt that had spiralled as a result of a hugely unfortunate and unavoidable situation.
Debt solutions can be tricky to navigate without the right advice, so we always make sure we exhaust all the options available to customers to find the one that works for them. For example, we’re always look at DROs (Debt Relief Orders) in the first instance for the best chance of debt relief for the customer. However, eligibility for each solution is dependent upon several factors such as the amount of debt, earnings, and assets.
Due to Ian and his partner’s disposable income being above the threshold for a DRO, we explored other options to find a solution that was right for them.”

In the end, after working through his options with Freeze, Ian decided on an IVA, which allowed him not only to reduce his monthly payments to an affordable amount, but also to write off a huge amount of his overall debt.

Infographic breaking down which debt solutions Ian and Amanda were eligible for. A DMP would see them pay £160 a month for 11 years and 7 months. An IVA would see them pay off £9600 of debt in monthly payments of £160 for 5 years; their remaining debt would be written off. Bankruptcy would write off all of their debt for an admin fee of £680 but would result in them needing to sell their assets.
The app helped Ian to understand how different debt solutions could work for him.​

An infographic detailing how Ian and Amanda's circumstances would change by taking out an IVA. Their previous monthly payment of £2395 would be reduced to £160, freeing up £2235 for them each month. Up to £7491 would be written off at the end of the IVA.
Ian and his partner's monthly payment was reduced by £2,235.

Ian and his partner’s monthly payments were reduced by over 75% to an amount that they could comfortably afford.

One of the biggest things that Ian, along with other Freeze Debt users, have highlighted about the app is the ability to find a debt solution without picking up the phone, taking away the anxiety around discussing your debts with a stranger; the pressure of answering consecutive questions in a set period of time, and being able to access the app from anywhere, at any time.

“There's no speaking on the phone so the embarrassing part of admitting you're in debt is taken away.”


About Freeze Debt

Freeze Debt is the first debt advice and solutions app helping UK users to take their first steps towards a debt-free future. Our free service provides those struggling with unmanageable debt a confidential space to speak openly about their debt and financial worries and find a suitable solution based on their personal circumstances.

Freeze Debt's in-app messaging service is a revolutionary and modern way for users to address their debts and find solutions in less than 5 minutes, compared to the traditional and uncomfortable ‘call-centre-model’ that can take an average of 45 minutes.

So far, we’ve helped clear over £30m of debt and helped many people begin their journey to a debt-free future.


bottom of page