Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong. As long as you've been paying the minimum amount due, this is in line with what's required under your credit agreement.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced rules with the aim of helping customers avoid borrowing money for too long, on credit accounts (credit cards, store cards etc).
If you've been making the requested minimum payment or close to this over the past 18 months, it’s likely you’ll have paid more in interest, fees and charges than the original cost of your purchases. Under the FCA rules, this means your account is in 'Persistent Debt'.
How will I know if my account is in Persistent Debt?
We'll write to you if your account is in Persistent Debt and let you know how you can clear your balance quicker, and pay less overall.
What do I need to do?
It's important that you continue to make at least the requested minimum payment on your statement, so your account stays up to date. However if you’re able to do so, we encourage you to pay even a little more than your minimum payment as this will help towards reducing the amount of interest charged and clear your balance quicker.
Here’s an example to show how increasing your regular payment will reduce the amount of time it takes to pay off your balance:
If you'd like to see how paying a little more can reduce the time it will take to pay off your balance and how much interest you could save, you can use our Repayment Calculator.
How much do I increase my payments by?
There's no specific amount to increase your payments by - this is entirely your choice based on what you can afford. If you're able to pay a little extra, that's great! You should always try to pay more than your minimum payment as and when you can, as this will save you money in the long-term.
How can I increase my payments?
After you've worked out a repayment amount affordable for you, you can increase your payments by:
- Setting up or changing your Direct Debit to a higher regular amount
- Paying a higher regular amount using your normal payment method
- Make extra payments as and when you can by logging into your online account or contacting us.
You can also make one-off additional payments whenever you can afford to. Alternatively, you can pay your balance off in full at any time.
What happens if I continue paying the minimum payment?
If your position remains unchanged in the 18 months after we first notified you that your account was in Persistent Debt, we'll write to you again.
We'll work with you to repay your balance over a reasonable period, at an amount that's affordable for you – this may involve us having to suspend your credit facility. If this happens you won't be able to shop on your Pay Simply Be account.
What if I can’t afford to increase my payments right now?
We appreciate that you may not be able to increase your payments right now – but it's important that you continue to pay at least the minimum payment, to keep your account up to date and avoid charges. If things change for the better, even paying a small amount more every 28 days (or making a one-off payment, if you can) could make a difference.
If you need some help budgeting, there are budget tools available.
Can I continue to use my Pay Simply Be account?
Yes. Unless we've contacted you to advise otherwise, you can continue to shop with us and use your Pay Simply Be account.
However, we'll continue to review your account, and if your position remains unchanged in the 18 months after we first notified you that your account was in Persistent Debt, we may have to suspend your credit facility.
Will my credit score be affected?
No, there is no direct link between Persistent Debt and your credit score, providing you keep your account up to date by paying at least the minimum amount due by your statement date.
Help and support
Independent financial help: