Running a business can be unpredictable: if you find yourself struggling to make a repayment, or stick to your repayment schedule, we’re here to help. The most important thing to do is get in touch; talk to your account manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3778 0274.
After all, everyone’s different. You might just need just a few extra days while you’re waiting for an invoice payment. Or you might be facing tougher circumstances, like insolvency.
So whatever your situation, we’re keen to talk to you as early as possible, and find the right solution for you. This article explains some of the options available (and also describes the processes we follow if we don’t hear from you or can’t reach you.)
We can give you a few extra days if you need them
Just give us a call and we can move your payment date by up to 7 days.
You’ll pay interest for these extra days, but there’s no impact on your credit score or your ability to borrow from us in the future. And we can arrange it all for you straight away over the phone when you call us.
If you need a little longer, we can push your payment date back by more than a week, or reduce your repayment amount
In other words, we’ll put you on a new repayment plan. To set this up, we’ll need you to :
tell us what monthly payments would be affordable for you
send over some details about your income and expenditure
share some recent bank statements (it’s easiest with Open Banking)
We’ll send you a form to fill in with the information we need.
Once we’ve got all that:
we’ll go through it all
we’ll put together a new plan for you – usually in a couple of working days
we’ll agree the new plan with you
we’ll send you an updated repayments schedule to replace your old one
It’s important you get your new repayment schedule set up as soon as possible. If you leave it too long without getting in touch or repaying then your credit file would show that you’ve officially ‘defaulted’ on the loan, and this could affect your ability to borrow in future.
If we can’t reach you, then we might ask a third party to get in touch
If we haven’t heard from you and you’re over 30 days overdue, we might ask a third party to try and reach you on our behalf.
They’ll get in touch over email, letters or phone calls – they’re not bailiffs, and won’t visit your home or business. We choose our partners very carefully; they’re regulated in the same way as we are. And we regularly spot-check accounts to make sure their service is up to scratch.
Besides, we’ll always let you know before a third party gets in touch. You can still reach out to us directly if you prefer, even after we’ve passed your details on to them.
If you can’t bring your account up to date over a reasonable timeframe, we might need to ‘terminate’ your loan
This means we officially end our loan contract with you before the loan is fully repaid; it’ll show on your credit file, and could affect your ability to borrow from any lender in the future. We never take this decision lightly, and we’ll always
notify you and any guarantors at least a week before we terminate. If we can agree an affordable repayment plan with you, we might not have to terminate the loan – even if you already got a ‘termination notice’ from us.
Once we’ve terminated the loan agreement, we’ll be in touch with any guarantors directly to talk through the options. And if your financial problems are significant, then we might suggest you get debt advice – organisations like Step Change or Citizens Advice Bureau or BusinessDebt Line can help.
Once the loan agreement is terminated and as a last resort, we might take legal steps
Depending on how much your business owes and what kind of personal guarantee there is, we might take legal steps. For example, we might ask the court for a charging order on a property so we can recover our debt from a sale or remortgage. This is an absolute last resort, we’ve worked with over 50,000 businesses and never forced the sale of a property.
If we do take legal steps, then you should seek independent legal advice yourself. And through the process, we’ll stay in touch with you (or your solicitor) so you know the steps we plan to take before we take them.
Of course, some individual circumstances call for extra breathing room
If you have medical issues or special circumstances which might affect your payments, we might be able to give you some extra space. So it’s really important to make us aware of these issues: we’ll always keep this information confidential, unless you explicitly tell us we can share it.
We might also ask you for some paperwork to prove your situation, like medical certificates. Please don’t be offended by this, it’s just to help us properly understand your circumstances. We’ll freeze interest to give you enough time to get these documents to us – once we have them, we can make a full assessment of how we can help you over the longer term.
All in all, we want to support you as much as we can
We know money worries can be extremely stressful. Our customer engagement team and our collections specialists are here to help if you need us. So please do get in touch as soon as possible; talk to your account manager, email email@example.com or call us on 020 3778 0274.