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A woman who loved shopping a lot didn’t know she had to give the money back for what she bought with her credit cards. She ended up owing £40,000.

Maddy Alexander-Grout was only eighteen when she got lots of credit cards at her university’s freshers’ fair. She thought the cards were like free money and didn’t understand that she needed to pay back what she spent, says Manchester Evening News.

Now 40 years old, Maddy said: “I was hooked on shopping. I didn’t realise why I’d splashed out £40k. I took out credit cards and overdrafts. At one point I even got a university hardship grant, a hardship loan, store cards all sorts.

“I genuinely had a spending addiction,” she said. “It was my low mood, lack of dopamine. Now I know it was because of my ADHD I got diagnosed in 2021. It was out of control.”

Maddy started to be really scared every time she heard letters coming through her door in the morning. She was worried that people who wanted the money back could come any time.

When she was a student, she borrowed money and bought expensive shoes and bags, and often paid for her friends’ drinks too, reports the Mirror.

Maddy didn’t realise how much debt she was accumulating until she moved out of her university accommodation and had to take care of bills herself. She found herself unable to meet her living costs, which led to friction with her housemates.

She admitted: “I couldn’t afford to pay any of the loan repayments. I couldn’t afford to pay the minimum payments so it just got worse.”

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