Halifax credit card debt and the ‘help’ offered.

(27 Posts)
Icantrememberthenameoftheartis Tue 15-Jun-21 17:23:08

So today I took a deep breath and called Halifax to discuss the credit card I have that I’m now 3 months in arrears with payments

The call took over an hour to go through outgoings, income, why I’m in this position etc and eventually to discuss my options.

Well, the only option they gave me was to close my credit card, stop all interest being added which would happen anyway, set up an affordable payment plan to repay the balance, it was all sounding ok until she finished with ‘a default will be listed on your credit score to show you’ve defaulted’.

No other options offered!

And yet on their website there are lots of ‘Call us we’re here to help’ messaging!

I’ve had the credit card for five years and always paid until being made redundant thanks to Covid. I made that clear to them too!

Is this really the only option available does anyone know?

OP’s posts: |
RoseRedRoseBlue Tue 15-Jun-21 17:26:07

That’s whats annoying me about all these current ‘caring, sharing’ bank and building society adverts - when it comes to the crunch, they are just not interested.

korawick12345 Tue 15-Jun-21 17:27:17

Well that seems like they are helping you out, what else were you expecting? You can't just close an account that is in arrears so by closing it so no more interest accrues they are helping you out, similarly an agreed payment schedule would help you out. You have defaulted so obviously a default will be recorded! Did you think they would offer to disregard your debt or something similar?

LawnFever Tue 15-Jun-21 17:28:40

That’s not very helpful of them is it, are the payments they’re offering you affordable, how much do you owe?

Is the payment plan a lot less than the monthly payments?

HelpMeh Tue 15-Jun-21 17:30:51

What other options were you hoping for?

Hellocatshome Tue 15-Jun-21 17:34:08

Sounds pretty helpful to me. Just not adding interest is a huge help. Were the payments they suggested affordable? What did you want them to do? They are not just going to write it off.

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 15-Jun-21 17:34:17

stop all interest being added which would happen anyway no it wouldn’t, freezing interest is helpful , it’s how they make their money.


Happygirl79 Tue 15-Jun-21 17:36:28

I think it's very helpful to you that they will stop adding interest.

Icantrememberthenameoftheartis Tue 15-Jun-21 17:39:08

Korawick No I haven’t defaulted! My credit card is 3 months in arrears after over 5 years of always paying on time! I expected them to offer ‘help’ like they state in their numerous adverts. And by ‘help’ I was expecting something along the lines of a 3 month payment holiday so I can catch up with the arrears or freezing the card so it can’t be used and not adding any interest so I can catch up.

How does closing the account and listing it as defaulted help when you previously have never missed a payment?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Tue 15-Jun-21 17:41:09

Agree, with interest frozen any payments start to reduce the balance whereas no or minimum payments won't. Or is it that you still need to spend on the cc. Alternatively speak to Stepchange , CAB etc who can make similar arrangements with creditors and help you budget.

LIZS Tue 15-Jun-21 17:42:50

But you have defaulted by being in arrears.

korawick12345 Tue 15-Jun-21 17:43:14

You have defaulted - you haven't paid the minimum amount for 3 months!
They don't have to freeze the card, you can do that yourself, you just don't use it!
They are offering to close the account so you don't accrue further interest, that is equivalent to the 'holiday' you seem to think they should be offering you!

Hellocatshome Tue 15-Jun-21 17:43:15

How does closing the account and listing it as defaulted help when you previously have never missed a payment? it means you are able to pay it off without incurring huge amounts of interest and as you have missed 3 monthly payments you have defaulted so that is how it will be marked. I'm not sure what you wanted but this is pretty much as good as it gets.

Ivy48 Tue 15-Jun-21 17:45:29

From their eyes you should have rang for the payment holiday when you first couldn’t pay, 3 months later you’ve technically defaulted. I’m sure after three months is when they start sending letters about closing your account, paying the balance or facing CCJs etc as thats what happened with me when I had to enter a DMP. They’ll have assessed your account and income. If you owe a lot, have missed 3 months etc they’ve likely assessed the likelihood of getting their money back or you not catching up. Their version of ‘help’ is always payment plans unless you catch it very early on. 3 months is when they start sending default letters, 6-12 is when they start selling the debt on. I think most CC’s have this in there t&cs somewhere.

HoldontoOneMoreDay Tue 15-Jun-21 17:47:35

They have 'helped' you by declining to add interest and offering reasonable repayment terms.

They have declined to 'help' you by giving you the chance to get into the same situation in the future by freezing the card.

To be honest, that's a win win on your side and as a business decision on their side. You've broken your contract - they are perfectly within their rights to decline to offer you further credit in future. Making a business decision you don't agree with isn't the same as offering you help.

qualitygirl Tue 15-Jun-21 17:50:18

What else were you expecting OP? confused

RestingPandaFace Tue 15-Jun-21 17:50:30

By being 3 months in arrears you have already defaulted, it will likely already be showing as a default on your credit file.

If you leave the account open, even if you don’t spend any more you will incur charges each time you are late plus interest. Anything you pay goes to pay those first so the actual amount you owe will only reduce slightly.

If you let them close the account you won’t incur any more fees and possibly no more, or much less interest. All of this means that the money you pay them will go towards paying off the debt much faster.

Toddlerteaplease Tue 15-Jun-21 17:54:51

They were useless when my friend In a nursing home needed to open a current account.

PaniniHead Tue 15-Jun-21 17:56:13

Would this help- www.gov.uk/government/news/new-scheme-to-give-people-in-problem-debt-breathing-space-launched

MerryDecembermas Tue 15-Jun-21 17:58:51

Are you not able to make a minimum payment each month?

cupsofcoffee Tue 15-Jun-21 17:59:02

* No I haven’t defaulted! My credit card is 3 months in arrears after over 5 years of always paying on time!*

That is defaulting.

trappedsincesundaymorn Tue 15-Jun-21 18:00:44

Why didn't you notify them as soon as you were made redundant? They may have allowed you a payment "holiday" if they had known right at the start. After 3 months without any notification from you what else were they expected to do?

OoglyMoogly Tue 15-Jun-21 18:00:54


No I haven’t defaulted! My credit card is 3 months in arrears

hmm Yes you have. Your second statement proves it.

TrifleCat Tue 15-Jun-21 18:15:36

Unfortunately OP this is how credit cards work - you have borrowed money from the bank and you defaulted on your agreement to pay that money back, so you will have a note added on your credit file saying you have defaulted.

I know it’s shit OP, I found myself in a lot of CC debt last year because I lost my job but unfortunately didn’t tighten my belt enough so was using credit cards for food/bills etc, before I knew it I had racked up £5k of debt and the 0% deals stopped, the solution for me was to take a low cost loan to pay the cc off and budget to adjust my spending to within my means, it’s a lot more manageable than you think, you will be ok.

icelollycraving Tue 15-Jun-21 18:22:30

I understand the panic of debt, particularly if you’ve never had an issue. They have helped as stated by several pp. Very little they could do in addition surely? You let it go three months before contacting them?

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