Credit Card Debt Help
Looking for credit card debt help, and feel like your options are limited? NDH Financial offers an IVA debt relief solution, starting with a free consultation.
Credit cards are one of the most common types of unsecured debt. They offer a relatively easy way for people to purchase items that might otherwise be out of reach. Though it might be tempting to think of credit cards as free money, this is not the case.
When you purchase items on credit, you are essentially borrowing money, so it’s important to make sure you keep on top of your monthly credit card repayments. If not, you run the risk of getting into money troubles or debt.
At NDH Financial, we specialise in Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) to help you get rid of your unaffordable credit card debt and become debt-free*.
If you require assistance in dealing with your credit card debt, contact one of our debt consultants today.
What is credit card debt?
Credit card debt is the outstanding debt that a borrower has yet to pay back on their credit report. It is considered a type of revolving debt, which means you do not have a fixed number of payments to pay it off. Instead, the arrears are added to your existing balance.
Credit card debt often occurs when individuals only make minimum payments and do not pay off the full balance each month. As an unsecured debt, where there is no collateral involved, credit card debt will not impact your existing assets; however, it will reduce your credit score.
Causes of credit card debt
People find themselves in credit card debt for a range of reasons. Here are a handful of the most common:
Sometimes, we can overestimate how much we are able to afford to pay back. As a result, we place expensive items such as holidays and the big shop on our credit cards thinking we can pay them back.
Instead, focus on using your credit card for smaller items you are certain to be able to pay back in full at the end of the month.
Life is full of surprises. Cars break down, boilers become faulty, phones need replacing - the list goes on. Ideally, you would use an emergency fund to help pay for these incidents; however, many people do not have one in place, resulting in them having to use their credit cards to make the payments.
If this unexpected expense turns out to be something you later cannot afford, you will likely find yourself at risk of credit card debt.
The impact of divorce is abundant. Divorcees face not only a physical and mental toll but, in many cases, a greater financial burden is also on the cards.
The legal fees for divorce proceedings do not come cheap - add to that the financial strain of living solely off one income - which means that higher dependence on your credit card following a divorce can be common.
Never paying more than the minimum payment
Credit cards come with additional charges such as interest rates. This means the minimum payment only makes a small dent in the overall balance owed - your minimum payments are likely to be paying off the price of interest over the debt itself.
Falling into a pattern where you only make the minimum payments creates more problems than it resolves, making it easy to fall into a credit card debt loop.
High cost of living
It is no secret the cost of living has increased exponentially in recent months. In fact, almost 9 in 10 adults living in the UK have reported their cost of living has increased in April 2022.
From the cost of energy rising to the price of food staples like bread and milk on the rise, living within your means is becoming harder. Without wages increasing to meet these demands, it can cause many people to resort to using their credit cards more regularly.
Losing your job
With the changes in the economy, more people run the risk of being made redundant/let go without much warning. This means the security of having a salary you can rely on to make your bill payments is reduced.
For those with no savings or money coming in, many turn to their credit cards to make the payments while trying to figure out their next move. However, it is worth exploring other options first, such as government assistance, before seeking out increased credit.
Whatever your personal circumstance, our debt consultants will be able to help you tackle your debts and become debt-free.
Can you write off credit card debt?
The only way in which you can write off your credit card debt is by using a legally binding debt solution.
What is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement?
An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a legally binding agreement that takes place between yourself and your creditor. The agreement is based on one affordable monthly payment to be paid to the creditor. Once the agreement is made, both parties will need to abide by the agreement's terms and conditions.
The agreement usually lasts five years and is a viable option if you have other debts alongside your credit card debts. Once the five years are over, and you have complied with the terms of the IVA,the remaining debt you owe will be written off.
At NDH Financial, we employ an insolvency practitioner who is able to speak to the creditors and distribute the money to them on your behalf. Our insolvency practitioner is there to guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
If you find an IVA is not right for you, there are other debt solutions out there that may help you.
Debt Relief Order
If your disposable income falls under £75 per month - therefore, meaning you are unable to contribute towards your credit card payments -, you have less than £30,000 of unsecured debt, and assets under £2,000, you could apply for a debt relief order.
A debt relief order is for people who do not own property and have little to no assets. By applying for a debt relief order, you will not have to make any payments toward your debts. Although your debt is not immediately written off upon entering the debt relief order, once it is successfully completed after 12 months, all of the debt is written off.
Applying for a debt relief order will cost you £90, which can be paid in instalments; however, the full payment will need to be made before the debt relief order can come into effect.
If you do not qualify for the DRO, but are unable to make a payment towards your debts, the alternative would be to apply for bankruptcy.
Though this will write off your debt, the legal process and potentially higher fees in bankruptcy mean it should be carefully considered, especially if you own assets.
Whichever option you choose, once the debt has been written off, you cannot be chased. It is also worth noting that even if you are able to write off your debt, it will still have an impact on your credit score, and this may impact your ability to apply for credit in the future. Any of the above solutions will remain on your credit record for six years from the date you enter into it.
How does credit card debt affect your credit score?
This depends on how you use your credit card. If you are regularly meeting your payments and staying within balance, it can actually help your credit score as it can show you are able to make your payments and are responsible with your money. However, if you are only making minimum payments and the balance on your credit card is high, it will show lenders you are struggling to meet your payments and are relying heavily on your credit card to make ends meet.
It is crucial for your credit score that you make your payments on time. If you miss a payment or make a late payment, which then creates additional fees, it can negatively impact your credit score.
Though debt solutions, such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, can impact your credit score, once the payments have been paid and the six years have been completed, the solution will be removed from your credit record, you will be able to build your credit rating back up.
If you are worried about your credit score, there are three things you can do today to help give it a boost:
Make sure you do not miss any payments
This includes your rent or mortgage, utility bills as well as debt payments.
Register yourself on the electoral roll
This only takes a few minutes and allows lenders to view your details. Making it easier for lenders to find you will boost your credit score.
Make sure the details on your credit report are correct and up to date
Mistakes can happen, so it is important to ensure the credit report you have is an accurate representation of your current financial state. If a mistake was made, it can be altered thus boosting your credit score.
What happens to my credit card debt after five years?
In the UK, the statute of limitations - the period of time in which external parties can chase you for debt repayment - only comes into effect after you have been in debt for six years. This means your creditors have six years to contact you to repay your debt.
During the period of your credit card debt, you should receive three letters from your creditors: one after 18 months of being in arrears, and the following two after 27 and 36 months.
During this time, your credit card provider will ask to discuss a repayment plan with you to help you make your payments. Make sure these payments are realistic and affordable for you. As they have initiated contact, if you find after five years you are unable to make payments towards your credit card debt, arrange to speak to your credit card provider who will be able to assist you in how to move forward based on your specific circumstance. In some cases, this could mean freezing your debts while you get back on your feet.
Get in touch with NDH Financial today for a free consultation about your debts.
Call us on 0800 002 9051 or apply below.
Credit Card Debt Help and Tips
On the surface, it may seem like there is no easy way to handle your credit card debt.
At NDH, our debt consultations will be able to provide you with a debt solution known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement when you are unable to manage your debts.
Before you consider an IVA, there are things you can do now to help your situation.
Transfer your existing card balance
Depending on your credit score, you may be able to transfer your existing debt to a 0% interest credit card, which makes your monthly payments each month interest-free. By using a 0% interest credit card, the payments you make will go straight towards paying off your debt - rather than the interest rate.
When you transfer your balance around from one credit card to another, there will be a small transfer fee. The fee will vary depending on your card provider - it is roughly £30 for every £1000.
Pay more than the minimum payments
It can become very easy to get stuck in the rut of only making the minimum payments on your credit cards.
However, by paying the minimum amount only, you are likely just paying the interest on your card and not tackling the actual debt you owe.
Create a direct debit
Missing a monthly payment happens. In most cases, it is because you forget to make the payment on the correct date. To prevent this from happening, you can create a direct debit plan with your credit card providers.
This will ensure you are making consistent payments toward your credit card debts. You will be able to set up a schedule to either make the full payment each month or agree on a fixed amount each month.
Set yourself a budget
Create a budget to see how much you can contribute towards your credit card payments each month. Note down your outgoings and incomings, and see if there is anything you can change.
Having a visible representation of your budget will enable you to see exactly how much disposable income you have. This will allow you to determine how much you are able to contribute to your credit card payments each month.
Tackle Your Credit Card Debt Today!
The debt consultant teams at NDH Financial appreciate the stress that can arise from dealing with credit card debt. It is important to note that you are not alone.
As a fully licensed insolvency practitioner, we are trained to help you find the best debt solution to help you become debt-free*. Having worked with thousands of people over the years, we are more than equipped to give you the support you need.
*Once the IVA is completed, all outstanding debts that are included are written off. There are some unsecured debts that will be excluded, such as court fines, child maintenance arrears and Student Loans, and you will need to make separate payments to these. As the IVA will only cover unsecured debts, you will need to continue making payments to secured creditors both during and after the IVA.
Do You Have Any More Questions?
Our IVA Learning Hub Can Help
We know you might have questions and that’s fine.
We can answer most of those on our call.
But we’ve also built our learning hub so that you can learn more about an IVA and see if one is right for you.
Click below to check it out.