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We are currently in stage 1 of the process and starting to fill out our workbook - which needs to be submitted by 5th May 2017. We have concerns around financial situation having read a few of the threads on this site. Please could anyone give advice on the following -


We are both employed albeit part-time (25hrs & 20hrs) this is through choice to accommodate childcare of the 7 year old we already have. Our total income per annum is £46K. We have started saving but only just so this is minimal (approx £1500). The issue we have is that we have £30k worth of debt which has been consolidated into a payment plan with Stepchange (debt charity) and our monthly payments are £87 per month with no interest added. This payment plan is over a 30year period although this can be adjusted if we want to pay more off or need to pay less if due to a change in circumstance.


Our disposable income currently is £150 per month - we have cut back on everything we can as we had to do this for the step change payment plan. We also have car finance of 5 years remaining which is outstanding of £13k. We did have other car finance but have recently paid that off & in the process of selling this car which should put at least another £4k into savings.


In the coming months our jointly income will increase as our hours have been upped but this won't show before the end of Stage 1. Secondly we will receive CSA in the sum of approx £300 per month, this will also not take affect until after Stage 1. Once these come into effect our disposable income will increase to about £1000 a month so will dramatically increase our savings. What is the likelihood of making it through Stage 1 with this in mind?


We did't think it would be a problem as long as we could we show we can afford the debt and an additional child however from reading posts on hear we're now not so sure and are worried - any advice please? Thanks


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It will all come down to the sw doing your assessment but you have clearly taken control of things now so set it all out on paper to show how you've planned ahead. Once matched presumably one of you will not be working so factor that in too. Being upfront and honest is key but also being proactive about showing you've thought of solutions to issues is good.


Good luck, once children are home you will have plenty if other stresses so try to get the finance stress out of the picture if you can. Hope all goes well.


Good luck


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When I was approved I had to complete grids showing my ingoings and outgoings pre-adoption/during adoption leave/on return to work. The key thing they were looking for was affordability and that finances post-adoption were not going to cause a stress. In Stage Two one of the sessions covered attitudes to money, history with finances etc. I do not think debt in itself is so much an issue it's more about affordability and how the debts have arisen. I have a large mortgage and car finance and a similar amount of savings as you at the start of the process - as I could demonstrate through the grids that I could manage and stated that I would continue saving during the approval process and whilst waiting for a placement they were happy with that.


£150 a month disposable income seems pretty tight when you take into account the expense of an additional child, childcare costs and reduced income during adoption leave. Have you run through the figures yourselves?


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It strikes me that you're very clear on your finances and this is a positive. I think it completely depends on the view of the assessing social worker. im just wondering/ and this is no judgement/ but could you sell/give back the £13k car and replace with cheaper one? This must incur a hefty monthly cost and could further increase your monthly income. The SW will want to do a full financial assessment- I think they'd be concerned with a monthly disposable income of £150 but £1000 would be more than enough!!!


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Thanks for the prompt comments and advice. We went to the adoption open evening back in September 2016 and friends of ours have recently been matched to their child, so after advice from them we realised we needed to budget a bit more so we have cut back on a lot, although we only have a disposable income of £150 at the moment this will increase next month and this is a certainty, we're just concerned that we won't get passed stage one to show this... we will try and explain the situation to the LA but if they go by our current situation then I'm not convinced we'll get much further.


On the upside to all of this, we already have a child we afford, we over pay our mortgage and have done for three years so if need be we can ask for a mortgage break over a few months which would help when i take the year off. We have just cleared one car finance which I hope will show that we're going in the right direction and our debt is reducing albeit at a slow rate, but this at least keeps the repayments manageable. The unfortunate thing with the remaining car finance is that we can't afford to pay it off and if they take it back we will still need to pay them a large sum of money due to the fact that we haven't yet paid half of the loan, so we'll have to keep it. Hopefully they'll give us a chance over the coming months and let us show them how we are improving our financial situation. We are also very fortunate that we have £275000 equity in our house but I'm not sure if they take that into consideration. we have a budget sheet and are very aware of where every penny goes and with a higher monthly income on its way we know all of that can go into savings. I already work part time and plan to stay that way, my other half can go back to work full time at anytime if needs be, but would rather as we would rather cover child care ourselves than payout for other people to do it (just our choice not judging people that do do it that way) our savings aren't great at the moment but if the car sells then that should treble its all pending though so not sure what the SW's will think. we are also lucky that we have good adoption leave pay from work.


The debt we have was for a number of things- home improvement and a wedding, we aren't the sort of people just to spend on credit cards willy nilly otherwise, I just hope that because we spent £20000 wedding it won't go against us too much.


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You can clearly demonstrate excellent awareness of your finances. Press on with the assessment and see what happens! Believe it or not/ they want to approve you!!!!! So if you can demonstrate that it would work then you may be absolutely fine! Worry continues throughout the process- I was panicking about Lots of things but it worked out and now i have my little cherub x


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Thanks so much for the positive comment- I'm just worrying we won't get through, but I can imagine this won't get any better through the process so we'll press and keep everything crossed.


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Hi I'm an adopter who has got through process through to match LO been with me aprox 11 months with a debt management plan. I first brought this up in my initial interview and had to do a full session on it in home visits how I got into my debt position in lots of depth it was one of the hardest sessions how I'd changed my behavior and how was I going to manage. My social worker thought it was going to be a stumbling block but I got approved this was brought up at panel and it took me over a year to get a match the odd sw did bring this up when looking for a match. Got my match and panel also wanted to know how things were with my finances. Keep on with assessment and just be honest good luck. X


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OK - this may seem a bit harsh, but it is meant to be realistic only...


Your finances to date seem a real mixed bag - asset rich, and cash poor. It's clear you've made some poor financial decisions in the past but are working on turning that around.


Unless you live in London or the Home counties (which you may well be in for all I know), £275k can buy a very decent house in a decent area - have you ever thought of selling out for a cheaper house with a smaller mortgage, or even getting yourself a £275k house and being mortgage free? Hopefully your mortgage deal is valid for a long time as it is quite likely that your £30k debt being managed by debt charity terms has hammered your credit rating and you may not get a great mortgage deal if you take on new terms with a new lender.


I'm assuming that with the payment plan you have, all un-necessary costs have been cut way back - if you have Sky and are out of contract, instigate cancellation and see them come back with a 50-60% off retention offer. Shop around for fuel cost savings and other bill costs with the USwitch website or similar.


You may find that the LA want to see the extra money you speak of start to roll in before they'll approve you to stage 2 - this won't be a no, it'll be a delay if they need to see a few months saving start to build up, you can help this along by stopping your Mortgage overpayment immediately and start putting that money in a savings account instead.


If you need a car, but want rid of the debt, have you ever thought about leasing rather than taking out car loans? We have 2 cars at the moment, bought outright for about £45k total, but I put enough away to cover the depreciation every month. At times I wish i'd leased my car, I could've been paying out every month in lease what i'm saving for depreciation and could've left the purchase cost of the cars in the bank...Next time!


We've been very clear on what we can and can't afford, and what we expect raising a child (or children) to cost. We conservatively estimate that over the year, each child is going to cost about about £500 a month, with almost half of that going on the cost of childcare (we both work, no willing grandparents etc living nearby).


There's a few things to consider there, but the easiest thing for you to start saving without changing your lifestyle at all would be to stop overpaying your mortgage.


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ours was a bit different we completed an expenses sheet and the SW sat a looked over it with us might I add for about 4 hrs.. we nearly didn't pass panel over the heads of our debt. But once explained the reasons for it and how well we have been paying it off we passed panel. The scariest day of my life it was touch and go for us.

We where told that as long as you don't have ccj or bankrupt there was no issues at the start but what we went through on this wasn't a nice experience. Think long and hard about this part and how you will be able to answer there questions as the did grill us a lot at panel on finances.


Good luck x


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TheApples - it will be a talking point but if you can prove he has learnt from it and your finances are now in a good place it should be fine. I had some interesting history from before I met DH (not bankruptcy but difficult times financially) but was able to talk about how I learnt from it and applied my learning going forwards.


On savings, we went into adoption with over £10k in savings and it is only recently (3.5 years after placement) that we got back to those levels again.


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Thanks Gilreth. That's really helpful. We should have some decent savings behind us by The time we are matched so hopefully this won't be too much of a concern.


Appreciate your message.


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The Apples..consider this disposable income as a luxury. We used to have that but now we are in deficit each month. Life in the land of adoption is full of unexpected changes.


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Absolutely agree rubber stamp. The hope is that one of us have the option to not work or indeed work park time hours if our child needs us at home. At that point I guess all luxuries will be out the window and the needs of our child comes before our standard of living (which is already quite lean) . The world of parenting is totally full of unexpected changes which is why we are trying to prepare as much as we can. I can imagine it's very difficult.


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Hi cinders, they will likely question if you're disposable income of 1k assumes any decrease in wage for adoption pay? If you're hours have increased will you have nursery costs? They do like to see that you are robust financially. We were asked to take prolonged periods off which meant managing on one wage. Assuming a child costs around 500 per month this would only leave you with 500 spare.


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What I think is encouraging is that you've thought about this. I'd think that shows you in a positive light. Children are expensive (as you know!) but there's a lot of hidden costs in adoption. Losses and damages, loss of earnings, special foods, extra support in activities, different activities, travel to appointments/ meeting etc. The sw will want you to show you can manage to cover the costs of adopting without loosing the roof over your heads.


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