Q&A - How can I reduce my credit card balance?

16/03/2009

Q: I owe nearly £10,000 on a credit card. I took it out under a special offer and now can’t get the balance down. I have tried to apply for other cheaper credit cards but without success. I don’t think the interest rate I am paying is very fair and I don’t think the credit card company is treating me fairly either. Is there anything I can do?

A:   If you are having difficulty getting a credit card with another company, or getting credit generally, it is well worth checking your credit file with one of the big providers such as Experian. The fee is only £2.50 and you will be able to find out what credit details are registered against your name, as well as having the opportunity to correct any false entries. It may also identify credit cards that you no longer use and which you could cancel.

If the credit card agreement pre-dated April 2007 it is possible that there may be a legal flaw in it if it does not contain certain information within the body of the document.  If so, it could mean that the credit card company’s claim against you is not enforceable. We are seeing a number of those cases at the moment. It is possible in such cases for an expert in Consumer Credit Law to get the debt wiped out.

The process can take up to four months but once the debt is written off then the credit account is closed with no adverse information on the credit reference agency databases.

I would advise you to seek advice from a solicitor about the Credit Agreements, but the starting point is to request a copy of the original Agreement from the issuer.

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Partner

A Partner and Head of the Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Wrexham