Missed payments can happen. The sooner you take steps to address it, the sooner you can prevent the situation getting worse.
If you’ve missed any payments, take a look at the steps below to see what you can do:
Contact your lender
Get in touch with your lender as soon as possible if you’ve already missed a payment, or know you’re going to miss one. They may offer you some more time to make the payment or suggest an alternative option, such as a payment plan. Lenders may apply interest or late fees for reduced or missed payments, but it’s better paying late than not at all.
Can’t afford to pay right away? Don’t panic. As mentioned, contact your lender and let them know your situation. You might be able to come to a mutual agreement for the account while you get back on your feet. Lenders might move the account to be in default if you continuously miss or pay reduced payments, so it’s good to speak with them so they have a clear understanding of what your situation means for you and how they can help.
If you’re still struggling with your debt, please get in contact with either StepChange or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Make the payment
If you accidently missed the payment date, pay as soon as you realise, or if you can now afford to pay but couldn’t before, make sure you do so. For more information on whether this will affect your credit rating or if you’ll be charged late fees, contact your lender directly.
Set up regular payments
If you’ve missed a payment by mistake, it’s a good idea to set up either a direct debit or standing order for at least the minimum payment on your account each month. If you can, clear the whole balance each month. This way, payments will come out of your account automatically, which should mean you won’t miss any future payments. Try to make sure you have enough money in your account to pay, so you don’t get charged any fees from your other accounts.
Make sure you opt-in for payment reminders if your lender offers these. They will contact shortly before your payments are due, so you’re less likely to forget. If this isn’t an option from your lender, set up reminders in your own calendar so you’re notified on the date a payment is due.
Reach out for further help
There’s no such thing as getting help too early when it comes to debt. Whether it’s a short-term or a long-term issue, there are organisations that can offer some guidance in helping with your situation. StepChange are a non-profit debt charity that can offer debt advice to help you improve your situation. Citizen’s Advice Bureau can also provide information for debt situations, which you can visit online or there are many high street branches you can attend.