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Have you received a 'persistent debt' letter?

If you're making minimum payments to your credit card, store card or catalogue account, we can help.

What are my options?

It may be tempting to ignore letters from your lender when you don't feel like you're in debt. However, we'd encourage you to think of your wider financial situation

We recommend you find ways to increase your monthly repayments so you're paying more than the minimum, to pay off your balance faster.

What if I don't increase my credit card, store card, or catalogue repayments?

Where you can afford it, you should increase your repayments. If you don’t increase them, your creditor will continue to contact you and may take more serious action. It's important to remember that they want to help you, so we recommend getting in touch with them as soon as possible if you receive a letter.

The timeline below shows what creditors are doing to encourage their customers to increase their repayments.

  • 18 months

    You'll get a letter if you've repaid more in interest and charges than you have towards your credit card, store card or catalogue balance for 18 months. Your creditor will contact you, encouraging you to take action so that by month 36 (i.e. 18 months’ time) you're paying more towards your balance than you are in interest and charges.
  • 27 months

    If your account is still in persistent debt and you haven't contacted your creditor yet, they'll send another letter encouraging you to increase your monthly repayments.
  • 36 months

    If you haven't contacted your creditor, they'll get in touch again asking you to take action. They may offer you a quicker way to pay off your account balance within a reasonable time frame (usually three to four years). They'll assess your finances, and propose options they think you can afford. They could suggest:

    1. An affordable payment plan so you can pay off your credit card, store card, or catalogue balance faster

    2. Clearing the account balance altogether by using another credit product, such as a loan or credit card, or

    3. They may decide to increase the minimum payment, to help you repay more quickly and save money on interest. If your creditor plans to do this, they'll send you a letter explaining their intentions, along with what you should do if you can't afford the new higher amount.

    They may also consider other options such as reducing your interest rate. However, this could involve suspending your account, which may impact your credit file. Different creditors will have different solutions, so be aware of this if you have more than one credit card, store card or catalogue account.

If you don't contact your creditor, they'll suspend your card or account so you can't use it, but you'll still be charged fees and interest. Contacting a creditor can feel daunting, but it's important that you get in touch as soon as possible.

If you're wondering how much difference increasing your repayments could make, use our repayment calculator to see the impact of paying more towards your credit card, store card, or catalogue balance each month.

What happens if I pay more?

Worried about debt?

It doesn’t matter how big or small your debt is, if you're worried about money, we’re here to help you.

Use our online debt tool to get free, personalised advice.

Get debt help now