He is a security guard in Singapore who earns $1,600 a month. He is also a step-father to a pair of children, to whom half of his income goes to for monthly tuition fees. A cash flow problem was all it took for his debts to snowball, leading to him losing 11kg due to stress and fatigue.
According to a report, Mr Aw, who prefers to remain anonymous, met his Indonesian wife 16 years ago. After dating for two months, his wife confess that her ex husband had abandoned her. He had left her with a three-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son.
After two years of marriage, Mr Aw’s wife gave birth to their baby girl, who is now 13. Four years later, Mr Aw filed an application for his step-children to live in Singapore. He tried three times, but to no avail. The only solution was for him and his wife and him to live separately. Thus, he stayed in Singapore taking care of his young daughter while his wife took care of her kids in Indonesia.
Last year, his wife his wife started residing in Singapore with him. After three months of constant hardship, Mr Aw had difficulty making ends meet and decided to borrow money from a loanshark. He borrowed $700 from a loan shark in February this year, in hopes of easing his tight cash flow. He promised to pay it off with weekly installments over a span of five weeks.
However, one of those weeks, Mr Aw failed to pay on time, and was made to clear his debt from scratch. When the interest kicked in, he spent eight months borrowing money to pay off old debts. After spending more than $5,000, he still owed the loan sharks $8,000.
Today, he is no longer able to transfer money to his children in Indonesia. For the past four months, he had to use $1,000 from his income to repay his debt, while using the remainder to support himself and his family. Cup noodles and canned food are daily affairs for his household. His water and electric supply get cut off nearly all the time.
At his wit’s end, Mr Aw turned to a social service centre for help. As a security guard with diabetes and high blood pressure, Mr Aw tried very hard to look for part-time jobs. He even borrowed money from his friends to tide him over.
Mr Aw had to borrow money from his friends to stop the debt collectors from coming to his house. He also had to for look for part-time jobs. Mr Aw regrets delaying finding help, he worries that his children may get dismissed from university.
He said his primary concern now is for his family to regain a normal daily life, and everything to end. This is so that his children’s lives would not be heavily implicated.
DO NOT borrow from loan sharks as it can spiral out of control. If you need cash, approach a bank or licensed moneylender. You can look through moneylender reviews and money lender review on money lenders in Singapore and find one that you think may be suitable for your needs.