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Admitting defeat  


Bowing out of my addiction with £5,000 worth of debt, £1,000 of which is high-interest payday loans that are really going to hurt me over the next few months. 1-year block in place. I’m 21, work in a supermarket, and have loads of debt, all thanks to poor decisions and sports betting. I’m really at my lowest right now. I think I need to feel a part of something to help me through this. The no-gambling thing isn’t what’s going to hinder me the most, it’s the financial impact my gambling has had. How does somebody who earns £700 P/m without any extra hours manage to pay bills upwards of £800 a month without even including travel money, food, etc? I’ll admit, I got so low that I, somebody who hates talking on the phone, was on a call with the Samaritans. Now that a self-exclusion is in place for the second time, I already feel a huge weight off my shoulders. I just now have a financial burden and feel like entering crisis. It’s too much for me to deal with. How does a debt management plan work, and how quickly can they come into effect? Are they easy to sign up for? I’d say the last stint of gambling I’ve been on for the past month hasn’t even been for the thrill of gambling, it’s just been a mediocre attempt at reducing debt which ironically increased it by a grand. I can’t get any credit anywhere, which is probably a good thing but doesn’t help with the fact this month I don't have enough in my bank to cover the payments that are due to go out. I'm not sure what I’m going to do about this, and with a tear in my eye, I request that you give any advice you could possibly give to a failing young man.


Thank you.

This topic was modified 1 week ago by Forum admin
Posted : 15th February 2021 11:55 pm

Hi mate

firstly your not on your own and not failed. The mental health gambling can cause is just horrible which I’ve felt for days since losing 9 days ago. I’ve been a problem gambler 20 years on and off. Years ago I was gambling all my wage and the overtime to the point my outgoings got on top of me. I then ad to take out a I V A (individual voluntary arrangement) which a lower payment was set up to pay my debt. Gambling will never reduce debt. And chasing them big wins will want you chasing more. Quit while your a young lad and start a journey to gamble free.

all the best


Posted : 16th February 2021 8:24 am

Hi mate, thanks for your message. I’ve been doing it for 4 years now, I just can’t cope with it anymore. The 6 months I had self excluded was bliss and didn’t have to worry about money. I’m now a 21 year old being paid £700pm with projected outgoings of 900pm+ for the next 3 months, and then around 500ish after that. It’s not ideal. Feel like I’ve messed everything up. Desperately going to try and sort something to hopefully pull myself out of this mess. It’s always hindsight that kills me. If I stopped a week ago how much better my situation would be.. but that’s just going to make me feel sad. Need to look forward to the future. No clue what I’m going to do about my debt though lol, got about 3 weeks to try and sort something

Posted : 16th February 2021 10:44 am
Forum admin

Dear @decisions

Thank you for posting and sharing your story.

We know the financial harm that problem gambling can cause, and we have options for support that may be able be useful to you as you to sort something out for yourself.

Please know that we are here 24/7 on our helpline or use the netline. An Adviser will be able to talk to you about how we can help with your recovery and to become gamble free and those financial difficulties that you are having to manage right now.


Kind regards


Forum admin


Posted : 16th February 2021 11:51 am

Hi Decisions 

i don't post often but feel i can offer you some decent advice as ive been in a similar position that you are

first off your post doesn't specify how much debt you are in but to have repayments of £800 pm at 21 it must be well over 10K 

so at your age and if you have that much debt i would suggest entering a debt management or an IVA i think both last around 5 years but the benefit of the IVA is that you can write a lot of the debt off , they will just give you a token amount you must repay each month its fairly easy to set up but will take a few weeks just google insolvency practioners 

i completed mine last year i think i went in with around 10K debt ended up paying back 5K  over 5 years which was reasonable 

you will obviously not be able to use credit for the next few years but it doesn't currently sound like will be able too anyway 

secondly your income looks very low even for a 21yr old , i assume this is because you are working part time ? can you increase the hours or get a second job ? 

increasing income at this stage is essential as you will no longer have the safety blankets of credit cards and over drafts when you get rid of the debt

thirdly the gambling has to stop or you will find yourself in a deeper hole next year 

good luck 







Posted : 16th February 2021 11:52 am

Hi Decisions,

I've been in your situation and the time to act is right now. It's great you have admitted your addiction and taking forward steps towards being gamble free. In regards to your debt, I would advise you pass your financial control over to a loved one and get all off your loan payments joined together so you have one monthly payment either using a Debt Management Plan or IVA. I use a company called PayPlan and I signed up for a DMP. They will talk you through the process.

I know you may feel sick with the money you have lost from gambling but believe me your at a great young age where you can make the right decision and change your life for the good. That change is becoming gamble free.

I made the wrong decision for over 12 years and kept building up debt and it lead to my life being controlled by my addiction. Please put every possible barrier in place that GamCare advise and make the right choice. Be Gamble Free.

All the best


Posted : 16th February 2021 12:39 pm


I would go to step change and you can enter all your details and they would offer the best solution for you. If you owe out more than you earn , you need to get an arrangement. My advice is to get another basic bank account opened for your wages to go into so that you will have you full £800 this month and set up a debt management plan, make sure you block your card from gambling though and never go back remember what you feel like right now.  

Posted : 16th February 2021 2:56 pm

@rgc123 Hey mate thanks for the message. Thank you so much for your message, this could have save me big time. I didn’t even know about PayPlan. I’ve been in the process of StepChange like a year ago which took seemingly so long and I just gave up but PayPlan seem to have everything in place for me and should be able to finalise something in the next week for me. 

Posted : 16th February 2021 11:10 pm


Cheers mate. I contacted PayPlan and have a DMP set up, just need them to be in contact with all my creditors to sort that stuff out. I have opened a second bank account with a different company and have arranged for my wages to be paid into that bank account. I’ll be honest, the not gambling thing right now is not really a problem because the blocks are in place. My previous self exclusion was a lot harder because I was addicted to the adrenaline of gambling.. my last run of gambling wasn’t adrenaline or enjoyment, it was trying to win money back and pay off my debts but I ironically created bigger debts as so many people often do. I honestly feel such a relief that I am self excluded. I just really hope this DMP is in place soon and I can look at rebuilding my life.

Posted : 16th February 2021 11:13 pm


Hey mate thanks for your message. I’m in around £5000 worth of debt but with my outgoings I included my rent, phone bill etc, it isn’t just my debt repayments.

I’ve contacted PayPlan and I am really hopeful for the future if this DMP comes into effect. The blocks are in place. I am really thankful that my addiction was sports betting rather than casino games because I know that there will be dodgy casinos out there not signed up to GamStop. I have no desire to go anywhere near them. Blocks are in place on my bank account and the new bank account I created for the purpose of my DPM.

Thanks for your advice mate and I hope things are going well for you in your own path

Posted : 16th February 2021 11:16 pm
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