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i This advice applies across the UK

Can I negotiate with the people I owe?

You can try to negotiate lower payments if you are struggling with payments. Creditors may allow you to pay less, but this will be marked on your credit file.

You can either try to negotiate:

  • A temporary reduction
    • For example, if your income will be reduced for a short time.
  • A permanent reduction

Start with your priority bills when you negotiate. This includes your:

  • Mortgage
  • Rent
  • Utility bills

Get debt advice if you are finding it hard to pay your priorities.

How to negotiate reduced payments

You need to show why you cannot afford your current payments when you negotiate for lower payments.

The people you owe will want to see a household budget showing:

  • Your income
  • Your essential living costs

We can help you put together a budget.

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Reduced payments affect your credit rating.

  • This can make it harder to get credit in future
  • Your account may default

The people you owe may not agree to reduced payments. This could lead to:

Others may agree to reduced payments for a set period.

  • Usually six months at a time
  • They will want an update on your situation after this

The people you owe may also agree to long-term reductions in your payments.

  • They may refinance your debt
    • This means giving you a new loan
    • It spreads your existing debt over a longer time.
  • The can have less impact on your credit rating
    • Because there is not an ongoing record of making reduced payments
  • You do risk paying back more in the long run

Help with negotiating reduced payments

We can help you negotiate.

Together, we can:

  • Put together a budget
  • Find the best way to deal with your debts

A debt management plan is sometimes a better solution than reduced payments.

It works in a similar way but we do all the work.

Use our online debt advice tool to find the best options for you.

"Get in touch with StepChange, you'll wish you'd done it sooner" Rob, Wiltshire