If you've only been making small repayments on your Credit Card or Storecard over the last 18 months you may have paid more in interest, fees or charges than towards paying off the amount you have borrowed on the Card. Under new rules, issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this means that your account may be classed as being in 'Persistent Debt' and our aim is to help you avoid long term debt and also keep money in your pocket.
If your account was deemed as being in Persistent Debt you may have received a letter from us, advising you that increasing your monthly payments would help you reduce your debt, lowering the amount of interest you would pay and cutting the overall time it takes you to pay back your balance. We will continue to review your account to see how you're doing with trying to pay more off each month over the following 18 months.
By paying a bit more each month over a regular period, you may actually save money in the long run by reducing interest payments and pay off your balance sooner. You can use the Calculator below to work out a monthly amount that ultimately helps to bring your account out of Persistent Debt.
If you are concerned about your financial situation please contact us on 0371 376 9214 to speak to our Customer Support Team. You could also contact one of the organisations at the bottom of this page that offer free and confidential support and advice.
If you have received a letter from us informing you that you need to start making your recommended payments to keep your account open, first thing to understand is this isn’t your contractual payment (your minimum payment remains exactly the same). However this payment will be higher than your minimum payment, but it will make sure you’re always paying more than your interest, fees and charges. This means you’re always paying down your Persistent Debt balance, and you will notice this ‘Recommended Payment’ will start to appear on your monthly statements. By sticking to these payments, you will be repaying your Persistent Debt balance over a reasonable period of 4 years.
Please note that we are also required to ensure that any new spending on your card also doesn’t enter Persistent Debt, so your recommended amount will change depending on your spending activity.
Under your current contractual terms you are allowed to continue making only your minimum payment, so don’t worry if that’s what you want to do. Unfortunately however, due to these new regulations – and to prevent you from incurring further debt – we would be required to suspend the use of your card. You will still need to repay your balance in full, but this could take considerably longer than 4 years, and once your balance has been paid off, your card will not be reinstated.
If you would like to know more about how your payments impact the time taken to repay in full, then please use the calculator below which will help you understand how long it would take you to repay based on your current payments.
New rules issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) aim to help Credit Card and Storecard customers avoid long term debt. You've been making small repayments over the last 18 months or longer which means you may have paid more in interest, fees and charges on your Credit Card or Storecard than towards paying back what you initially borrowed. Your account is therefore in Persistent Debt.
If you have been making minimum payments as per your Credit Card and / or Storecard agreement, you have not done anything wrong. Following the new rules introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), we are required to let customers know when their account is or showing signs of being in Persistent Debt, the impact of this, what could happen to their card and how their situation can be improved.
These rules were created by the organisation that regulates the Financial Services Industry, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Increasing your monthly repayments will ultimately help you save money as you will pay less in interest, fees and charges. You will also reduce the balance you owe more quickly and help you reduce your debt. Finally, you will eliminate the risk of your card being suspended and credit score affected if you are unable to repay the debt over a specified timescale.
It's always advisable to carefully consider how much you can afford. Paying just a little bit more each month, or making a one off payment can make a positive difference. To calculate how long it will take you to pay off what you owe and how much interest you can save, you can use our Repayment Calculator above.
As a responsible lender we are committed to helping our customers make informed decisions. If you can't increase your monthly payments or have concerns about your level of borrowing you may want to speak to our Customer Support Team to discuss your spending and repayment situation. We're also advising you that if you don't increase your monthly payments, we may act further by suspending your card to protect you from further debt, which may have an adverse impact on your credit record.
Making just the minimum payments can affect your credit score over time. Your payment behaviour, for example if you fail to make payments can help other lenders decide whether to lend money to you or not. However, there's no direct link between your credit score and your account being in Persistent Debt.
No, we aren't asking you to pay off your balance straightaway. You just need to pay more of the amount you've borrowed compared to the amount of interest, fees and charges incurred. You could also set up a Direct Debit for an amount above your minimum payment or a text alert to help you manage any spending.
Our Customer Support Team may be able to help you look at your spending and repayment situation. Alternatively you may wish to contact one of the organisations below who offer free and confidential support and advice. If you need help budgeting, there are free tools available online, for example at www.moneyadvice.co.uk
0300 777 0107
British Banking Association
0207 216 8800
Citizens' Advice Bureau
Citizens' Advice Scotland
0131 550 1000
Money Advice Scotland
0141 572 0237
Money Advice Trust
0800 808 4000
0800 280 2816
StepChange Debt Charity
0800 138 1111