We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).

What to do if I dispute a debt?

In rare cases, someone might contact you about a debt that is not yours. Or you may be asked to pay a balance you think is wrong. Get in touch with them to sort the situation out.

They may keep chasing you if you do not contact them. That could lead to money you do not owe being recorded on your credit file.

Worried about debt?

Money worries?

Find out how we can help you.

Get help now

What to do if you think a creditor is asking for the wrong amount

Does the balance look higher than you expected?

1. Ask the creditor for a breakdown of all added charges

Debts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act are required to give you:

  • A full statement of the account
  • A list of all added charges and interest

This might show you why the balance is different.

2. Check the terms and conditions of your agreement

Do some of the charges seem too high? Ask the people you owe to explain them.

In most cases, charges added to a debt should only be the actual costs incurred by the creditor.

For example:

  1. You miss a payment
  2. The creditor sends you a letter
  3. The fee should only be what it cost to write to you

3. Make a complaint if they will not change the balance and you do not agree with their reasons

Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if:

  • You are not happy with the creditor’s final response to your complaint, or
  • They do not reply within eight weeks

They cannot decide if you owe the debt. But they can say if the creditor is acting fairly.

What to do if you think a debt is not yours

A creditor or debt collection agency may contact you about a debt you do not recognise.

Check these things before you contact them:

Is it an old debt you forgot about?

Sometimes creditors do not contact you for a while. Maybe you moved and forgot to give them your new address.

Contact them to check:

  • When the debt was taken out
  • What address it was first registered at

The debt may be statute barred if it is very old. This means the creditor is out of time to collect it.

Is it a debt you know about that was transferred to another company?

A debt collection agency may have bought a debt from one of your creditors.

Check if the letter has:

  • A creditor name, or
  • Account number

Do either of these match a debt you have? Is the balance the same?

Contact the collection agency if not.

Contact the creditor if you are sure the debt is not yours.

Ask them for proof if they insist you do owe the debt.

What if I have a CCJ on my credit file that is not mine?

You may be able to apply to have the CCJ set aside.

Read our detailed information on how to do this.

Get free debt advice

Our free online debt help offers personalised advice and solutions.