Help if you’re struggling to clear buy now pay later payments

Make sure you’ve claimed everything you’re entitled to

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Make a budget

If you’re worried about money, have a look at what you’re spending and what income you have coming in.

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What to do first if you’re worried you won’t be able to afford your buy now pay later repayments

If you’re going to struggle to make payments, it’s important you talk to your lender or provider as soon as possible. There are things they can do to help, even if you can no longer apply for a payment holiday.

If you’re still having money troubles because of coronavirus, you might still be able to apply for a payment holiday (also known as a payment deferral) under certain conditions.

If you’ve not taken any holidays on your buy now pay Later agreement yet, you can apply for a payment holiday of up to six months in total. But you should continue to make payments if you can afford to.

If you’ve already taken a payment holiday, this can be extended up to a maximum of six months. It’s in your best interests to start your repayments again if you can afford to. You can contct the company you owe money to (your creditor) for further support if you’re still struggling after a payment holiday.

The deadline to apply for a payment holiday was extended to 31 March 2021, but individual creditors might still be able to offer you similar support after this date.

If you’ve already taken the full six-month payment holiday, you can’t apply for a further holiday.

What if I can’t or don’t take a payment holiday?

Discuss your situation with your lender before your next payment is due. They’ll be more willing and able to help if you’re proactive and explain your situation.

Lenders will only agree to a three-month payment holiday if it’s in your best interest. If they don’t think it’s suitable for you, they should consider alternative solutions.

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If you don’t contact your lender, buy now pay later providers will usually follow this process.

  1. They might first ask you to get in touch by writing to you or calling.
  2. They’ll then issue you with a written ‘default notice’. This gives you an opportunity to arrange how to catch up with your missed payments.
  3. If you don’t deal with the debt, the loan will ‘default’ (in other words, you have failed to make payments). This will usually be after two to three missed payments.
  4. When the loan has ‘defaulted’, more interest and charges could be added – increasing what you owe.
  5. If you still haven’t responded to them, your lender might go to court to seek a County Court judgment (CCJ). This is called a decree in Scotland. A CCJ gives your lender more options to enforce repayment of the debt. These measures can seriously affect your ability to get credit with other lenders in future.
  6. The debt may be sold on to a debt-collection agency who will contact you and ask for payment. However,  they are not allowed to visit your property and remove goods. If you have not paid the debt after a County Court Judgement (CCJ) has been issued, the creditor can apply for a warrant of control and instruct enforcement agents (also known as bailiffs). It is only at this stage that some goods can be taken and sold to pay towards the debt.
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Next steps if you’re worried about missing a payment on your buy now pay later agreement

If you’re struggling with payments, contact your lender to explain your situation. Try to avoid taking out more credit unless you know you can afford to pay it back.

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When to get debt advice

If you’ve missed more than one payment or are juggling other debts, it’s important you pay them off in the right order. This is because some are more urgent, and some lenders have more power than others.

Make sure you pay off priority debts first. These are debts such as mortgage or rent arrears, and fuel bills.

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Extra support if you’re struggling financially and with your mental wellbeing

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Having mental health issues might mean that you struggle to make the best money-based decisions for you, as well as act on them.

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Remember, if you’re struggling financially and with your mental wellbeing, it's worth contacting your bank, building society, lender or whoever you owe money to, to discuss your options.

However, picking up the phone and talking about your problems is often easier said than done when you’re struggling with your mental health.

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Most places that you owe money to have policies about supporting you if you’re vulnerable. But they can’t help you unless you ask.

For some general tips on how you can manage your mental health check out Rethink’s guide It covers everything from setting a budget to getting help if you, or someone you care about, is having a mental health crisis.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
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