Persistent debt

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) require us to monitor all credit accounts in line with their persistent debt guidance which aims to help customers avoid long term debt. We will get in touch with you, if by their definition, you are in persistent debt.

This means that you have paid more towards interest, fees and charges over the previous 18 month period, than you had paid towards reducing the amount you borrowed.

If your account remains in persistent debt for a period of 36 months, we are required to inform you that you must take action to repay your persistent debt balance within a reasonable period of time, we will be in touch with you about your options.

You can see how much interest you could save, or how much quicker you could clear your balance by using the repayment calculator below.

Repayment calculator

See how increasing your monthly payments can reduce the cost and the time it takes to pay off your balance...

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The results of the repayment calculator are for illustration purposes only. We assume one payment is made every month, there are no additional transactions or fees and the interest rate is applied to the full balance. The repayment calculator does not include interest that may be applied for the delayed payment period for Buy Now Pay Later transactions, and any balances you have on a Persistent Debt Plan.

How can I change what I pay?

Once you've worked out what you can afford to repay each month, you can choose to either:

  • Increase your monthly payment to an amount you can afford.
  • Continue to make your minimum payment each month, but also make additional payments when possible.

You can make a payment anytime in My Account or by giving us a call and using our automated payment service, click here for details.

Persistent Debt - Can you afford to pay more?

Can you afford to pay more?

Increasing the amount you pay could help you save money and clear your balance sooner.

Persistent Debt - Make extra payments when you can

Make extra payments when you can

Continue to make your minimum payment each month, but also make additional payments when possible.

Persistent Debt - Set up as a Direct Debit

Set up a Direct Debit

If you haven't already, set up a Direct Debit so you never miss a payment and get charged a fee.

FAQ's

How will I know if my account is in persistent debt?

As part of the FCA rules on persistent debt we will be in touch if you have, over the past 18 months, paid more in interest, fees and charges on your account than towards paying back the amount you borrowed. Under the FCA rules this means your account is in something called “persistent debt”. We will monitor your account and will let you know when your account is in persistent debt.

18 months notification: If your account is identified as being in persistent debt, then we will contact you to explain your options and offer support if you need any extra help.

27 months notification: If you have not made sufficient payments to help reduce your persistent debt balance, we will get in touch again and explain what you need to do next.

36 months notification: If you're still in persistent debt at this stage, we will contact you with the option of a Persistent Debt Plan to repay your balance within a reasonable period of time.

If you choose to opt out of a Persistent Debt Plan we may need to suspend your credit account.

Why does it matter if I'm in persistent debt?

Although your credit account gives you flexibility on how to repay your balance, making consistently low payments compared to your balance may not be a cost effective way to borrow. Having long term debt also means that you're more at risk of running into financial difficulties in the future.

Will this affect my credit score?

No, but having long term debt could mean that you’re more at risk of running into financial difficulties in the future.

Am I doing anything wrong by just paying my minimum payment?

No, but it could be costing you more than it needs to. We’re encouraging you to review what you pay to see if you can increase this or commit yourself to paying a fixed amount each month (just make sure its always over your minimum payment). If you’re not able to increase your payments or think it might be a struggle, get in touch and let us know and we can discuss your options with you. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

What if I can only pay my minimum payment one month?

You always have the option to pay the minimum amount, however we would recommend increasing this again as soon as you are able. This will help to reduce the amount of interest charged and clear your balance sooner.  Should your account remain in persistent debt for a period of 36 months, we will contact you with the options to repay your balance within a reasonable period of time.

How can I pay less interest in the future?

If you choose the Take 3 payment option, it allows you to split the cost of your purchases over 3 months and avoid interest. Simply pay the Take 3 amount on your statement and you’ll pay no interest on qualifying purchases if you make your three Take 3 payments on time.

If you use Buy Now Pay Later, you can avoid all of the interest by paying the cash price before the end of the delayed payment period. This can be done in one full payment or multiple partial payments. Making partial payments without clearing the cash price in full will reduce the lump sum of compound interest charged at the end of the delayed payment period.

What is a Persistent Debt Plan?

If you are offered a persistent debt plan, this is a way to help you pay your persistent debt balance within a reasonable period of time. Your Plan will be for a fixed number of monthly instalments and will form part of your monthly minimum payment. We will contact you with details of the plan if applicable.

Get in touch

If you're concerned and would like to discuss your options, please contact us, click here for details. Lines open Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday 8am - 6pm (Excluding bank holidays).

Alternatively, if you're experiencing significant or potentially long-term financial difficulties, it may be beneficial to contact a debt advice service. StepChange Debt Charity offers free, impartial and confidential advice; you can visit their website at www.stepchange.org or you can call them, click here for details.