My name is Merl, a 30-year old from Singapore, and I am left in heavy debt from being financially exploited by a friend.
HOW I GOT INTO THIS
It began at the end of September 2020, when I was contacted by a friend I had known since secondary school (high school) for help with the fallout of borrowing from loan sharks. He revealed to me that the ordeal had led him to into a government-managed Debt Repayment Scheme, which in Singapore could be seen as pre-bankruptcy. He asked me for help with several legal fees during the process. As someone who thinks of myself as loyal to my friends, I helped out, with the promise of a structured repayment.
To keep a long story short, what happened was a series of requests for financial help which depleted my life savings, and which saw me taking on mobile phone contracts (with the idea of selling the complimentary phones for cash, and that the phone contracts would later be transferred to my friend). When using such a scheme to raise cash was no longer an option, he had me take on payday loans for licensed lenders, one after another.
You may ask why I agreed to what were clearly bad ideas. The answer is that I have an undiagnosed neurodivergent condition (probably ADHD) which I have spent all my life learning to mask and seem normal, and I have done it so well that for almost 3 decades, I didn't realise my condition myself. This has rendered me predisposed to pretending things are alright when they're not, to be rejection sensitive, to want to please, and ultimately to a misplaced sense of loyalty.
Additionally, I have a long-standing case of clinical depression which may have factored into my misjudgements. I have also stopped going for my appointments because I'm afraid I can't afford my antidepressants.
WHAT I NEED
Now I am left with the burden of outstanding debts to two payday lenders, as well as the overdue and termination charges of the phone lines contracted under my name. Failure to pay off the loans would see debt collectors harassing my home and workplace (it is legal in Singapore within certain limits), and perhaps lead to bankruptcy proceedings. Failure to pay off phone bills would also lead to bankruptcy filed against me.
I have a permanent job and thus a stable income, and I am looking for part-time work to make up the difference. But I admit, it will not be enough, not when I also have to make contributions to my household.
Therefore I am asking for help, because I cannot do this alone. Because, while the friend who has gotten me into this has fulfilled small parts of his promise to pay these debts, his payments do not come often enough and not in enough amounts. Because I am at the very end of my rope, and I don't know how else I can do this.
The total debt is at approximately $11600. I will of course try to pay off as much as I can on my own, and will lower the goal every month to reflect the current outstanding.
Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read this. I am already grateful for all who has donated, even if it's a little, every bit matters and being rendered any help at all is enough to be thankful for. Even if you are unable to donate, please share and it might go a long way.
Thank you all once again.
(Latest edit in September to reflect change in situation, lowered amount required)