What you feel like doing
When you're dodging paying your bills, the last thing you want to do is have a chat with your creditors. But when you miss payments your creditors are very keen to speak to you. It's a difficult & uncomfortable situation.
Debt Advisers will encourage you to stay engaged with your creditors because it's in your best interests to do so, see 10 Reasons to keep talking below.
Occasionally, a few creditors will behave unreasonably, this may be considered harassment & you may have cause to complain about a creditor.
Your creditors will usually give you time to get independent debt advice, most creditors want to treat you fairly and help you deal with your debt problems.
It is also a requirement for many creditors to offer breathing space as part of their industry codes of practice.
- Credit Services Association code of practice
- Finance & Leasing Association Code of Conduct
- Lending Standard Board Lending Code PDF
If your creditor is a member of any of the above organisations they should give you breathing space if you let them know you are seeking debt advice. You might be asked for your debt advice case reference number, Money Advice Hub provides a debt advice passport that you can use with all of your creditors. If one of these type of creditors refuses to give you breathing space, you can raise an official complaint with them and if then not satisfied, you can escalate the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Top 10 Reasons to keep talking to creditors
1. Your creditors are more likely to negotiate with you if they know your circumstances.
2. You can request breathing space to give you time to find a debt solution.
3. Interest & charges are more likely to be frozen.
4. If you have a vulnerability like depression or another health problem, most creditors have special concessionary policies to deal with your sensitively.
5. You can usually prevent legal enforcement, such as bailiffs (enforcement agents, attachment of earnings, deductions from benefit etc.
6. You're more likely to be able to defend any legal claims &/or negotiate with a court if you can evidence good conduct dealing with your debts.
7. Your creditors will stop bothering you so much when you tell them what's going on.
8. You'll be able to gather important information about your debts to help you choose the most suitable debt solution.
9. Your creditors will stop making requests for unaffordable repayments.
10. You'll be taking control of the situation which will give you greater peace of mind.