What you need to know about persistent debt

Persistent debt

What you need to know

What is persistent debt?

New rules have been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with the aim of helping credit card customers avoid long-term debt.

If you’ve been making minimum or low payments over the past 18 months, you’ve paid more in interest, fees and charges on your Barclaycard than towards paying back what you’ve borrowed. And under the new rules, this means your account is in something called ‘persistent debt’.

Why it’s important that you take action

Let’s say you have a balance of £5,000 on your card with an interest rate of 18.9% APR, and no balance transfer or purchase offers. If you only make the minimum payment each month, just before your billing date – it’ll take you 31 years and 10 months to pay off your balance.

But if you increase your payments to a fixed £150 each month, you could pay off your balance in three years and 10 months – that’s quite a difference.

Increasing your monthly payments today could take years off the time it takes to pay back what you’ve borrowed, save you money on interest, and help improve your credit rating.

How will you know if your account’s in persistent debt?

We’ll get in touch to let you know if it is – and we’ll send you a personalised amount to help you get out of persistent debt, save money on interest, and potentially take years off the time it takes you to pay back what you’ve borrowed.

We’ll then review how you’re doing with trying to pay off more each month over the next 18 months.

If you’re still in persistent debt after this time and can’t increase your payments, then to help protect you from getting into further debt, we’ll have to suspend your Barclaycard. This means you won’t be able to spend on it and you’ll need to repay your balance.

What you need to do next

If your account is in persistent debt, we’ll get in touch and send you a personalised amount, which will tell you the minimum amount you need to start paying each month to get out of persistent debt.

Before you change your payments, please make sure you can afford the increase. If you can, you can update your payments in one of these ways:

Log into Barclaycard online servicing and set up or update a fixed Direct Debit with the new amount.

Call us on 0808 169 7904 and set up or update a fixed Direct Debit with the new amount.

Please remember – you can always make extra payments at any time, but if you have a minimum payment Direct Debit in place, any extra payments you make should be more than this amount. By paying more, you’ll clear your balance quicker and pay less in interest.

Before you change your payments, please make sure you can afford the increase. If you’d like to talk to us about your financial situation and see if it’s possible to increase your monthly payments, please get in touch on 0808 169 7904 (+44(0)203 9126646 from abroad) and we’ll be happy to talk through your options with you

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Worried about debt? We can help

Are you finding it difficult to stay on top of your finances? Has a change left you with less money to pay your bills? You're not alone. Visit our money worries hub to see how Barclaycard has helped people who may be in similar situations to you.

For free, independent advice, you can also contact the below organisations:

StepChange Debt Charity – call them on 0800 138 1111 or go to stepchange.org

My Money Steps – for help managing your money, go to mymoneysteps.org

National Debtline – if you live in England, Scotland or Wales, go to nationaldebtline.org or call 0808 808 4000

Citizens Advice Bureau – visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or go to adviceguide.org.uk