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The path out of persistent debt

What is persistent debt?

You're in 'persistent debt' if a bigger chunk of what you paid back on your credit card over 18 months went to interest, fees and charges than to paying off what you borrowed.

What your payments go towards

Image of scales showing a higher proportion of your payment going towards interest, fees and charges, compared to what you have borrowed.

New rules introduced by the FCA (our regulator) are expected to affect around 3 million people in the UK in this situation. They aim to protect these people from getting into difficulty with long-term borrowing.

Meet Richard

Richard set up a Direct Debit for minimum payments when he opened his account 5 years ago.

Recently, he got an email from us saying that over the previous 18 months he'd paid more in interest, fees and charges than towards the amount he borrowed.

Richard switched from paying the minimum (£28 last month) to a fixed monthly amount of £44. He'll now pay off his balance quicker and be on the path out of persistent debt.

He'll pay £1,450 less interest*

That's enough to cover his family food shop for 6 months

People in persistent debt often pay the minimum or close to it.

What is the minimum payment?

If you're up to date with your account, it's the lowest amount you can pay to avoid late or missed payment fees. It's a percentage of your balance rather than a fixed amount, so it rises or falls with your balance.

Is it bad to pay the minimum?

Making low repayments for a long time means debt hangs around longer. If you can boost your payments, you'll pay back faster, costing you less in interest.

But my minimum payment's recently increased

That boost will help. But if you can afford to pay any more, you'll be on track to leave persistent debt quicker.

Meet Zahra

Zahra recently received a letter from us saying that over the previous 18 months she'd paid more in interest, fees and charges than towards the amount she borrowed.

She only uses her credit card for emergencies and pays a few pounds over the minimum to help keep her clear of fees.

We upped Zahra's minimum payment so this month she'll pay £28 instead of £18. This increase will help her pay off her balance quicker and get out of persistent debt.

She'll pay £625 less interest*

That's enough to cover her fuel for 7 months

How much could I save?

Work out the time and money you could save with our Repayment Calculator

Try our calculator

Where to go next

Your path out of persistent debt

Boosting how much you pay each month is the way to leave persistent debt.

Increase payments via your app, phone or online account. You can make extra payments at any time too.

Manage payments

This way to stay in persistent debt

Continue to make low repayments and you could stay in persistent debt.

  You could   have your card suspended. More info

If you can't afford to pay more than you do now, we can help.

Get support