Financial Difficulty – Options

My agreement is in arrears – what options do I have?

We know that if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and your agreement has fallen into arrears, it can be stressful.  It’s really important that you communicate with us so we can help you find the right solution for you. We’ve set out below some options for you to consider if your agreement is in arrears, and also some information about what might happen if we ask you to contact us about your arrears and we don’t hear from you.

Continuing with your agreement

If continuing to make repayments is affordable for you, consider the following options:

If you are able to make payment to clear your arrears, please do so.  This will minimise any negative impact on your credit file. You can make payment by card via our automated telephone service by calling 01604 402 204.

If you are not able to clear your arrears in full but can afford to make some payment towards your arrears, please call us so that we can work with you to reach an affordable repayment plan. Repaying some or all of your arrears may help to reduce any negative impact to your credit file.

Ending your agreement

If you feel that continuing with your agreement may not be affordable for you, consider the options below:

Under section 99 of the Consumer Credit Act, you have the right to end your agreement with us at any time (known as “Voluntary Termination”). If you would like to get an idea of how much this option is likely to cost you, please contact us.

If you decide to voluntarily terminate your agreement, you will need to return the vehicle to us, and there may be further sums to pay.  If you have already paid at least half of the total amount payable under your agreement and your account is up to date, there will be no further instalments to pay.  If your account is in arrears however, you will still need to pay us the arrears.  We may also need to make a charge for collection costs and compensation if the vehicle has damage in excess of normal wear and tear.

Choosing to voluntarily terminate your agreement may mean that you owe us less than if we have to terminate your agreement.

You can visit our Voluntary Termination Information page for more details, or if you would like to discuss this option with a member of our team, please contact us.

If you voluntarily terminate and have nothing further left to pay, we will place a marker on your credit file to show that you have done this. This marker will not negatively affect your credit score but please note that credit scores are not the only source of information that lenders can use when making lending decisions.

If you voluntarily terminate and there are still sums to pay, we will try to come to an arrangement with you for you to repay this. If this remains unpaid, this will have a negative impact on your credit file.

You can settle your agreement at any time – please contact us if you would like a settlement figure. If this option is chosen, your credit file will be updated to show that the finance has been settled in full.

You can settle your agreement by raising the funds elsewhere or by selling the vehicle.  When considering selling, think about whether you still need to use the vehicle. You will only have our permission to sell the vehicle if you are then able to repay the agreement in full.  If the proceeds of the sale do not cover the full amount owed to us, we would continue to be the legal owner of the vehicle and may take steps to recover it from the buyer.

If you do not repay the agreement in full, you will be liable for the remainder of the outstanding finance. This will fall due immediately.

What happens if we don’t hear from you?

If the level of your arrears reaches two or more of your monthly instalments and we aren’t able to come to an arrangement with you, we will send you a Default Notice. The Default Notice will require you to clear the arrears in full within 16 days to prevent your agreement being terminated.

If you are able to clear the arrears before the date stated in the Default Notice, your agreement will continue.

If you do not clear the arrears by the date stated in the Default Notice and we haven’t come to any other arrangement with you, we will terminate your agreement and will write to you informing you of this.

Until the date stated in the Default Notice, you will continue to have the option to voluntarily terminate. Once that date has passed, you will lose the right to voluntarily terminate and the benefit of the reduced liability.

What happens once your agreement has been terminated by us

The full outstanding balance will then become due. If we terminate your agreement, you will no longer have our permission to use the vehicle and we will take steps to recover it.

You will have the option to return the vehicle to us voluntarily (known as “Voluntary Surrender”), avoiding liability for legal costs associated with the repossession of the vehicle, if applicable. In addition, if you drop the vehicle off at one of our designated locations, you can avoid the cost of us recovering the vehicle.

We will take the required action to repossess the vehicle, which may involve applying for a Return of Goods Order through your local court. This option will increase your liability as there will be legal and recovery costs payable.

When the vehicle is sold, we deduct the net sale proceeds (that is, the sale proceeds less any recovery, sale or legal costs, if applicable) from the outstanding balance and will write to inform you of how much you owe.

If you would like an estimate of how much you are likely to owe if we terminate your agreement, please contact us.

On termination, a default will be registered on your credit file, which will remain on your credit file for six years.

If we cannot reach a satisfactory arrangement for the repayment of any outstanding balance, we may take legal action against you to recover it.  This could result in us obtaining a County Court Judgment against you (known as a “CCJ”), or if you are in Scotland, a Decree.  A CCJ or Decree will stay on your credit file for six years and can seriously impact your ability to obtain credit, including mortgages.

Here to help

There are a number of organisations that offer free, confidential and impartial debt advice.  You can find details of some of those organisations and how you can contact below.

Please remember

If your agreement is in arrears, it is important that you consider your options and contact us to discuss your account as soon as possible.  A member of our team would be happy to help to find the best solution for you.

You can reach us on 01604 402 204. Our offices are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 4pm on Bank Holidays. You can also email us on [email protected].

Alternatively please follow the link below and fill in our contact form.

Contact us today

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service offer free, easy-to-use money tools, information and advice.

You can phone 0800 138 7777 to speak to a money expert, use type-talk at 18001 0800 915 4622, or add +44 7701 342744 to your WhatsApp to send a message.

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Stepchange offer free, impartial advice and information on debt and other topics.

You can phone 0800 138 1111 to speak with an adviser.

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Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice can provide you with the information that you need to make the right choices for you.

You can phone 03444 111 444 to speak with an adviser.

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