*Please note, customer names and details have been altered slightly to provide anonymity*

Sarah's husband, Mike, died at the age of 62, just a few weeks after having been diagnosed with cancer. The family, including three children, were devasted, especially considering how fast everything happened.

Unfortunately, Sarah is now in a position where she has some credit card debt built up, following some fairly free spending during the last 5 or so years with husband Mike.

They were planning on paying off the total balance with Mike's pension in the future, so were content just paying the monthly balance for now.

However, when Mike died, his pension payments were reduced meaning that the amount Sarah received was only just covering her day to day living.

They usually paid off the minimum balance due, but always thought they’d pay off the total balance with Mike's pension later on down the line. Returning to work wasn't an option as she'd retired a few years ago because of ill health.

She owned 8 credit cards and began to miss the minimum payments on them and was getting increasingly worried about the financial situation she found herself in.

One of Sarah's friends suggested she speak to an equity release specialist, who reassured her that they'd work together to find a solution.

The adviser presented an equity release product that provided a sensible way to help consolidate the unsecured debt.

This lifetime mortgage allowed ad-hoc payments and meant that Sarah could consolidate the £17,000 due on the credit cards. She then started to make interest payments, paying a lower monthly amount of £90 per month, allowing her to regain control of her finances.

The monthly interest payments ensure that the mortgage balance was kept level, and so had control of the inheritance she left to her three kids.