How Carmen Transformed Her Financial Life After Bankruptcy

In 2007, Carmen Hegarty was in an economic hole.

The woman had around $85,000 in credit card, car loans as well as other debts. health issues made her lose her job.

“I was carrying credit card debt, I owned the option of a wage sacrifice car at my workplace and I was in arrears on my the rent.” this 52 year old from Cairns told.

“I was at the point at which I was about to be homeless.”

After talking to an expert in financial planning, Carmen declared bankruptcy in May 2016.

Since her return, she has been able to recover pieces by pieces.

She is now an advisor to financial matters with ICAN. Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN) in Cairns aiding others who are who are in financial trouble.

To answer the ABC Everyday Money Q&A, we had a chat with Carmen to learn about her life.

What brought you to be in a financial bind?

It is my first time being a mom and worked for the Federal Government over a period of 10 years. I was not feeling well physically and this began to impact my job. I eventually quit in the end, which was an enormous disappointment as I truly enjoyed the work I was doing.

I was required to visit Centrelink to get Centrelink, and that’s when my financial problems began. I was unable to pay my mounting debts , so I had to solicit my friends and family for cash.

I eventually moved back to my mother’s house and a friend suggested that I consult a financial adviser. I was around $85,000 in debt, and he suggested I apply for Bankruptcy like BKHQ.

It was simply an inability to manage money at the beginning. I was not aware of how to save for rainy days. It was just a treadmill, paycheck after payday.

You’d have enough money to cover the cost of the next payday, while all the other bills were paid However, you did not have any flexibility.

How did you make it to the top?

I was trained as the phlebotomist, a health worker who takes blood samples and other specimens to testto determine the quality of blood. I worked as a phlebotomist for around two and two-and-a-half years. I was employed part-time, so it wasn’t too stressful and it was helpful in my recovery.

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