Credit card customers struggling with persistent debt are to be offered extra help by lenders, under new rules introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority.
As of 1 September 2018, a customer who has been in ‘persistent debt’ for more than 18 months will now be offered more help from Lenders to manage their money. Lenders will have to ask customers about changing their repayment plan, warn them their card could be cancelled and in some cases ultimately waive interest, fees and charges.
The Financial Conduct Authority defines someone as being in persistent debt if, over a period of 18 months, the amount they pay in interest, fees and charges is more than the amount of debt they repay.
It says there are currently 4 million credit cardholders in persistent debt, and they pay an average of £2.50 in interest and charges for every £1 they borrow.
What are the new rules?
- After someone has been in persistent debt for 18+ months… lenders must contact customers, prompt them to change their repayment and warn their card may be suspended if they follow the same repayment pattern. They must refer to any debt advice available.
- After someone has been in persistent debt for 27+ months… They will be sent a reminder of the information above.
- After someone has been in persistent debt for 36+ months… lenders must offer customers a reasonable way to repay their balance. If customers are unable to pay, the FCA says the firm must show ‘forbearance’ and may have to reduce, waive or cancel any interest, fees or charges.
So how to do you avoid persistent debt?
Start upping your minimum payment to the banks & stop trusting that they’ll do the work for you. They won’t!
We explain our two methods of choice to help you pay off debt under the new rules in our latest YouTube Video bellow.
Minimum Payment Calculator: Money Supermarket
Snowball Method: David Ramsey
Consolidation Loan Calculator: Uswitch