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21 years old - need financial help

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    21 years old - need financial help

    Hi guys, just really don't know where to turn in regards to my current situation would like some advice from anyone I currently have a $12,500 personal loan which I have paid down from $19,500 when I was 18 years old which I bought a car with, I later sold that car for much less and bought a cheaper one, in short my car is worth about $8000 and I have a 12.5k loan leftover... My gf and I have been together for about 3 years, although we both live with our parents and don't pay rent, in the meantime I was kind of forced to join with her and buy extremely cheap tickets to Europe and stay for 3 months for about $1500 each (I live in Australia) as it was a (once in a lifetime chance) financially I didn't want to go....but saying no and cancelling would leave a big argument and sadness on her part, so I had to go along with it.

    My current financial situation is this - I was working in realty for 2-3 years with a full time job since I was 18, earning decent money, but nothing amazing..however I want to go to university and decided to quit my full time job and get my (RSA) and work in a bar part-time so I can pay my loan and then begin going to university. Whilst working in the bar I saved up just enough to do this overseas trip with my gf 6 months later, and I am in Europe at the moment, however I also had to get a quick $2k loan from a private quick finance company, I also have a fine of $1.8k for using road tolls and not paying the road toll, I would have to cross to visit my gf/coming back.
    I have no idea how it totalled this much, apparently every letter became $20 when I did not respond.....I didn't respond because I was pretty stupid and just ignored the letters when they arrived...2 years later they all caught up with me. So In short I just need advice on what I should do...can I consolidate all this debt. 12.5k - personal loan ($380) per fortnight 2k - quick loan random business ($60) pw 1.8k Toll fine - ($60) per week At the moment I am overseas, I don't have a job to come back to as I received a letter in mail saying my bar job has made me Redundant....although verbally the boss told me I had a job when I come back. I really want to go to university and pay off my debts when I get back to Australia, I have no idea where to begin, because I feel like I would never be able to pay all these debts whilst I study, since I probably won't even be able to buy bread after I have paid for all my debt ...... I come back in 24 days and just now - $500 in my bank account, but just enough money to survive on a travel account we both share whilst we are in Europe... I want to leave Europe early as 3 months was way to long however it will cost $1000 each to change our ticket dates

    Should I declare bankruptcy? Or can I consolidate my fine and loans and just keep looking for a job as soon as I get back....what would you do in my position

    I'd postpone school and find a full time job. Attack this debt from all angles, hopefully learn a lesson, then worry about school.


      Yeah, I have been giving it some thought and came to this conclusion as well, can fines be consolidated just like loans?

      Also would I be able to withdraw money from my super due to hardship?


        Since you are in Australia the rules might be different. I'm not sure how much school costs there either or what kind of benefits you can get etc. I would recommend that you try to sort out the 1.8K right away.

        Also you didn't really need to go to Europe. Stop trying to justify it. Not to judge I probably would have found a way to go too but this is a bad set up for you and your gf. Does she often get you into things you can't afford? Stop and look at that for a moment. Europe is done now you are doing it and will have the memories but make sure that this doesn't become a pattern you doing things that you can't afford just to avoid arguments. Also don't ignore bills anymore either. Avoidance is costly as you have learned.

        Also maybe try an Australian board to see if you can do anything about fixing those tickets.


          Filing for bankruptcy for circa $16k debts seems a little extreme to me. If i was in your shoes, i'd put off going to university for a couple of years, get a full-time job, clear the debts or get them to more manageable levels and then go to university.

          You're only 21yrs old, you've got your whole life ahead of you so don't file for bankruptcy before you've even decided what you with your life. As a bankrupt, there will be certain professions that you cannot work in and like it or not that label will follow you around for a little while.

          You also don't want to be at uni with these financial worries hanging over your head as you wont be able to focus on your studies or enjoy the experience of going to uni.


            1. Go home when your ticket allows. Quit blaming your girlfriend for "forcing" you to do things. Own your actions.

            2. If your parents are still willing to let you live in their house rent free, do that and give them your undying gratitude plus pull your own weight. Announce you will assume all bathroom cleanings, vacuuming, other minor chores and yard work. You get the idea, if you aren't giving them money than give them as much as your youthful energy as you can.

            3. If the old employer is willing to let you resume tending bar, do that. Otherwise, go find another job. Then maybe find another part-time job. You are young and other than your social activities such as with your girlfriend, you have little responsibility. You don't have children to take care of or house maintenance bills or any of that. You have very few other places that your money "needs" to be so you have the awesome ability to put almost all of it toward your debt. Take advantage of this because as life progresses, that changes. Believe me. The best asset you own is the ability to work many, many hours and luckily, that is not an insignificant asset at all.

            4. You saved up the money to pay for the Europe trip as well as making payments on your auto loan, so you can obviously accumulate extra money. Keep doing that, continue to work and pay off that $12,500 as quickly as possible.

            5. Once the debt is cleared you can address returning to school. You are not anywhere near bankruptcy. I swear to you, you can get that debt cleared up in under a year if you put it out there as your number one priority.


              Even though you've made past mistakes with a personal loan for the car, you seem like you have the right mindset for the most part. I commend you on downgrading your car when you needed to. I'd also suggest postponing school until your debt is completely paid off, and then yet some more to sock away more money for paying for the school itself. How many hours are you working? Can you get a second job while you're at least paying down the debt? If you could live with your parents again, you could live essentially bill-free, with the exception of your debt. I'd attack it at all angles.

              It sounds like your girlfriends is mostly on the same track, but remember you make your own choices financially. I agree that there are some things in life that are completely lifetime experiences and worth the money. What is a lifetime experience that is worth it at any given time financially is always up to you though. Perhaps if there is any pressure in the future from your girlfriend that would affect you financially, as long as you don't agree with spending the money yourself also, remind her your financial future matters for both of you -- whether marriage or a life together permanently is applicable or not. In the short time, if you pay off your debt, it means a better life for the both of you, and more experiences that you CAN afford.

              Best of luck -- keep at it and keep finding ways to make more income and cut expenses. It sounds like you're have a good attitude about your money, and that's what will help you the most on the long run, the trick now is to keep it up and keep motivated to save and pay off debt, and to not repeat past mistakes.


                Would like to know, have you gone through the terms & condition paper before signing the loan papers. As any negligence paid from your parts can be dreadful, at the time of making payment. Believe many must have learned lesson from the hardships you are going through.


                  I don't know your status in Europe but if you have/can get a work permit I suggest finding some short term work rather than adding to your debt load by changing the tickets. What interest rate for short term loan? Those things are usually really ghastly. The only quick fix I can suggest is to ask parents for a bail-out if they are in a position to help. Bankruptcy needs a large amount of cash upfront, is expensive, ruins your credit for seven years going forward and affect future choices.

                  As already suggested, find work when you eventually return to OZ, live at home if possible, pay off debt and then enroll in university, it will still be there and as a more mature student, you'll be more focussed on your goal. You'll have the advantage of life's experiences to know how fast things can get off track.



                    Looks like you've had your fun. Enjoy the rest of the trip in Europe. Then I think it's time to grow up. You have less than 25k in debt. You'll just need to get a full-time job and live with family when you get back. And then stop spending money on things you can't afford (like exotic trips to other continents). You can probably knock out the debt in about a year or two. Don't pass on the responsibility of your life to others (gf for example). Man up and take responsibility for yourself.

                    Best wishes.
                    ~ Eagle