Maintain Debt Payments as Agreed
Once you have agreed your Debt Management Plan (DMP) payments with your creditors it is important that you maintain them regularly and on time. If they see you are keeping to the agreement your creditors will see that you are committed to the plan. In turn they will then be more willing to help you by keeping interest and charges frozen and suspending any further collections action against you.
Make your monthly Debt Management Payments on time
One of the most important things to focus on when you are in a Debt Management Plan is making your agreed payments on time. You should already have informed the bank of the day you will make your payment each month. This is normally done when you are agreeing your payment amount with them.
If you make your payments on the agreed day the banks know to expect the payment and can record it. If you pay irregularly on a different day each month the bank never knows what to expect and whether your payment will be paid at all. They may then mistakenly record the payment as late, think you have broken your DMP and start chasing you again.
For this reason it is important to carefully chose the day in the month when you will make your Plan payment. Pick a day when you know that the funds will be available and which you can stick to every month. This will normally be the day after you are paid or receive the bulk of your benefits payments if you get them.
Check your Statements regularly
Once you are making regular payments to the creditors in your Debt Management Plan you should make regular checks to confirm that the payments are being received and credited to your account. The easiest way of doing this is to check the monthly statements you continue to receive.
If the account is for a credit card or overdraft debt checking that payments have been received will be relatively easy. The associated creditor should continue to send you statements each month. However you may have some debts such as a loan account where you do not receive regular statements. For these accounts you should contact the bank regularly and ask for a schedule of payments received and up to date account balance. This will allow you to keep an eye on what is happening with the account. It is a good idea to do this once every 3 months.
DM4U tip: As well as checking that your payments have been received you should also check that no further interest and charges are being added to the accounts. If this is still happening you need to get back in contact with the creditor, confirm that your Plan payments are being made regularly and ask them again to freeze their interest.
What if creditors have not agreed your payment offer?
If you chose to start a Debt management Plan one of the issues that you face is that your creditors do not have to accept your reduced payment proposal. In addition they do not have to stop adding interest and charges to your account balance.
If you are in a situation where a creditor has told you that they will not agree to the payment you have offered or continues to add interest and charges you should continue to make your proposed payment regularly anyway. The creditor cannot refuse to take a payment from you even if they do not agree to the amount. The fact that you are paying something will help your argument if they then decided to take further enforcement action against you such as apply for a County Court Judgement.
DM4U Tip: If one or more of your creditors refuses to accept your reduced payment or they continue to add interest and charges this can be a significant problem. It means that despite the payments you make your account balance will only reduce very slowly or at worst will continue to increase. If the size of the original debt is large you then have to question whether the Plan will work for you. If you find yourself in this position it would be sensible to get further advice about your debt from an expert and perhaps consider an alternative solution.
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