Two women recently shared their stories of how they’ve struggled through bankruptcy. One woman, known as Zura was declared as a bankrupt at the age of 24 causing her to fall into depression and another woman named Ila also suffered the same fate to the point it broke her marriage with her now ex-husband.
At 41 years old and 49 years old respectively, both Zura and Ila told The Star how they went from being business owners to bankruptcy to being back on their feet and free of debt after many, many years.
She had tried running a small e-commerce business and attended entrepreneurship workshops to support her family, but she was ineligible to apply for loans and grants due to her bankruptcy status. “Each time I see ‘non-bankrupt status’ as a requirement for anything, I would go home and feel like banging my head on the wall,” said Zura.
The mother-of-three added that before she and her husband got married, they were co-directors of a music record company that belonged to a friend. The friend then applied for a loan under the company’s name behind their backs. Unable to repay the loans, the company became insolvent a few years later.
Zura then opened a birthday party business in 2016 with the support of her family and friends. She was offered the opportunity to purchase her supplier’s shop in 2018 and could pay the deposit with the assistance of her mother. After fifteen years of hardship, she finally escaped poverty in 2019. “I am now debt-free, and I’m opening my second shop soon this month,” she told The Star.
As for Ila, she shared her story about how she and her then-husband mismanaged their finances. “We bought a house in 2001, for which we paid about RM500 monthly. I earned around RM1,200 per month. My ex, a lorry driver, also bought a car, and I was named his guarantor.”
The 49-year-old added she had advised against buying the car, but he ignored it by justifying that debts would not kill them. She was declared a bankrupt in 2007, and after divorcing her husband, she only managed to buy a car later with her sister’s help. “Manage your earnings carefully, think about your future and avoid creating debts that you can’t afford to pay, and always remember to service your loans,” Ila said.
Anis Sharina contributed to this article.