I can’t afford to pay what was agreed
You can keep creditors informed about changes to your financial situation and let them know if you’re taking any debt advice from StepChange, or another debt advice charity.
I’m setting up a token payment or debt management plan (DMP) and need to tell my creditors
While your plan is being set up you can contact your creditors to let them know that you’ll be managing your debts through a debt repayment plan.
I’d like to make temporary payments towards my debts
If you’re able to pay a smaller amount than the agreed monthly arrangement for a short time, you can send creditors a temporary payment arrangement letter. Add details of how much you’re able to pay and for how long.
I can’t afford to pay my arrears but I can make my monthly payments
If you’ve taken debt advice and you’re able to manage your monthly payments, but can’t pay off your arrears in full, you can offer to pay part of the amount you owe. Use this template letter to update your creditors.
I can’t afford to pay my CCJ
If you’ve received a County Court judgment (CCJ) recently and the payments are set at an amount you can't afford you can ask the court to reconsider your payments.
This is called a ‘redetermination’, and is only available if you returned your original claim forms on time and received a ‘judgment (after determination)’ reply from the court.
There’s no fee to apply, but you must make the request within 16 days of the date the judgment was sent to you, or you'll need to apply using an N245 and pay a fee.
This letter is for English and Welsh residents only. Read our guides to dealing with a CCJ for more information.
Getting information from creditors and disputing debts
Understanding the current status of your debts and credit agreements can help you deal with them more effectively. Learn more about finding out who you owe money to and disputing debts with creditors.
I need the creditor to confirm what I owe them
For debts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act (CCA), you’re legally entitled to see an original copy of your agreement, terms and conditions and a statement showing all payments made.
Most consumer credit debts are covered, such as overdrafts, personal loans, credit and store cards, catalogues and hire purchase. There’s a set fee of £1.
You can use this letter, also known as a CCA request, to ask a lender for information about your accounts.
I haven’t had the information I requested and consider the debt unenforceable
Under the Consumer Credit Act if a creditor hasn’t supplied the information you asked for, this letter tells them the debt is ‘unenforceable’.
Unenforceability means the creditor may not be able to successfully take you to court, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore the debt.
I think my debt is statute barred
A statute barred debt is no longer enforceable because the time a creditor has to chase payment – usually six years after the account defaulted – has passed. You can use this letter to tell a creditor that you won’t be making any more payments to a statute barred debt.
This letter can only be used if you live in in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Dealing with harassment
I want my creditors to stop calling me
If you feel you’re being harassed by a creditor you can use this letter to ask them to reduce the number of calls they make to you. You may want to add extra information about the effect the calls are having on you.
Find out more about making complaints to creditors.
Stopping automatic and recurring payments
I don’t want my bank to take money from my bank account
If you have other debts with your bank, we always recommend you talk to them to see if they’re able to help. However, if they're not able to, or you’re no longer happy to continue banking with them, you'll need to get a basic bank account with a provider you don’t owe any money to.
In some very rare cases, your bank can take money out of your account to pay off arrears to other debts you have with them. This is called their right of offset. If you can’t move your account straight away, this letter can be used as a short-term measure to protect your income.
I need to cancel a continuous payment
Some creditors, such as payday loan companies, will use your debit or credit card to take future payments, using a continuous payment authority (CPA).
You can cancel these payments by sending this letter to the creditor or to your own bank. If the payment is due to come from your account soon, we recommend calling them and cancelling the CPA by phone.
Our page on cancelling recurring payments explains your rights in more detail.
I can pay off a debt in full
If you receive a lump sum of money and want to pay off your debts with your creditors you may want to make them a settlement offer. Use this template letter to make them an offer for the full amount.
I want to offer a settlement based on a percentage of the debt
If you have a lump sum that forms a percentage of an outstanding debt, you may want to offer this to a creditor as a full and final settlement.
Letters to us
How do I give someone else permission to talk to StepChange about my debts?
You can use this letter to give us permission to speak to someone such as a friend or relative about your debts on your behalf.