A high number of people are asking Trust Deed Scotland® for help repaying catalogue debts when they approach us for Scottish debt help.
Catalogues are a popular way to make purchases and then spread the cost over a number of monthly payments.
This can help make expensive purchases seem more affordable, but catalogues are often an expensive way to borrow and have high-interest rates. Some catalogue firms even advertise themselves as bad credit or poor credit catalogues. In which case, the interest is most likely even higher to offset risk.
As most catalogue companies let you spread the cost of payments over a period of time. You’ll typically pay interest, which means that making just the minimum payments can lead to a bigger unaffordable debt.
It is common for catalogue companies to advertise their products in a way that describes them as affordable – and breaks the cost down to a per day, per week, per month arrangement in order to hook individuals in and buy additional items at a later date, without adding all the sums together.
When applying for a catalogue credit facility, reasonable affordability checks aren’t as thorough as some other lending facilities.
Catalogue Companies Used in Scotland
The most popular catalogues in Scotland include:
- Ambrose Wilson
- Argos Catalogue
- JD Williams
- John Lewis
- Simply Be
- Yes Catalogue
During the recent Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, it’s easy to understand how mail order and online shopping sales may have increased due to lockdown frustration. We recently wrote about maintaining a positive attitude during lockdown.
What happens if you can’t afford to pay your Catalogue debt?
Should you miss payments to your catalogue, or don’t make the minimum payments, the catalogue company will ask you to catch up with the arrears.
If you have a debt with a catalogue company, this is a non-priority debt and would be treated the same as other unsecured debts such as credit cards, store cards, loans or overdrafts.
If you can’t pay them the account, it will be closed so you can’t buy any more goods. The account will default and impact your credit score, the debt will most likely be passed onto a debt collection agency and the creditor may take eventually pursue court action against you, including pushing for a decree; a CCJ in Scotland.
Wage arrestments are more commonly used to enforced unpaid council tax in Scotland, but can be known to be used to enforce some unsecured debts too, including catalogue debts.
Lowell Portfolio is an example of a debt collection agency that pursue individuals with catalogue debts on behalf of their clients. Nationwide Debt Recovery is another.
Unlike car finance, where you could negotiate to hand back the car, with catalogue debts – you can’t give the items back should you fall behind with payments.
Paying only the minimum monthly payment to a catalogue debt in Scotland might not cover the interest and repayments. This can cause the catalogue debt to build up and become difficult to manage. You’re also at risk of your account being a ‘persistent debt‘.
Help with catalogue debts in Scotland?
A catalogue debt on its own is usually best managed by contacting the catalogue company and negotiating a repayment plan.
If you have been affected by a drop in income due to the Coronavirus, you may be able to request a payment break, giving you time to look at repaying catalogue debts over a longer period of time. But never assume that a payment break will automatically be granted, and interest and charges may not necessarily be frozen.
Most catalogue companies should have a dedicated Coronavirus payment break policy.
However, If you’re falling behind with multiple payments to catalogue debts and other types of debts such as credit cards, store card and personal loans or if you’re worried about what catalogue debt creditors can do to you, you should get expert debt advice. You can contact us for free, expert advice and help finding out what your options are.
Try our online debt repayment calculator, or call us on 0141 221 0999.