Sunday 4 December 2016

'So many people are suffering because they took expert advice -- buy now or else'

A woman fighting to make ends meet in the face of rising interest rates explains her plight to Carol Hunt

Published 13/02/2011 | 05:00

'IT doesn't look like I'll ever be able to pay it off. I'm terribly stressed, of course, but what can you do? There's such a sense of hopelessness."

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I'm sitting in Helen Phelan's small, pretty kitchen, in the home she and her partner bought in 2007. "I'd rented for 13 years," she tells me: "We both had good jobs, we worked hard, we saved, it didn't seem unreasonable to want your own home, did it? It's something that seems to be deep within the Irish psyche."

"We'd always been very frugal, we had no personal loans, no other debt (we didn't have a car), a combined income of about €5000 a month and I've never even paid interest on a credit card, so we thought a small two-bed house in north Dublin would be well within our reach."

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