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Credit Card Debt | Opportunity For Brokers To Help Clients

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt


Liz Syms, the Chief Executive Officer of Connect for Intermediaries, delves into the pivotal role brokers can play in assisting individuals grappling with persistent credit card debt. The landscape underwent a transformative shift in February 2018 when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced new regulations for the credit card market. These regulations, operational since March 1, 2018, mandated compliance from banks by September 2018.

Liz Syms
Liz Syms, CEO and Founder of Connect

These regulatory adjustments were crafted to bolster safeguards for credit card holders facing persistent debt or financial instability.

An exhaustive market analysis led to these changes. The comprehensive study scrutinised 34 million credit card customers’ financial accounts over five years. It also included feedback from almost 40,000 consumers.

Of notable significance, the analysis unveiled a concerning scenario in 2014. Approximately 5.6 million individuals found themselves ensnared in potentially troublesome debt.

Among them were two million people either grappling with arrears or having defaulted. Additionally, two million individuals maintained a balance surpassing 90 per cent of their credit limit for at least one year. Furthermore, 1.6 million individuals barely stayed afloat by making only the minimum repayments.

This regulatory intervention underscores the urgency for brokers to step in and assist those burdened by persistent credit card debt. Armed with a nuanced understanding of the evolving financial landscape, brokers are well-positioned to offer invaluable guidance and support to individuals navigating these challenging financial waters.

As the FCA’s regulations aim to enhance customer protection, brokers play a pivotal role in ensuring individuals receive tailored assistance. This helps navigate the complexities of debt and paves the way towards financial stability.

Credit card debt | Taking back control

In adherence to recent regulations, credit card companies are required to assist clients with prolonged low repayments. This process starts once a customer has been in persistent debt for over 18 months.

At this point, firms must proactively engage with customers, urging them to modify their repayment strategies. Customers are also warned that their credit cards may be suspended if they don’t change their repayment behaviour promptly.

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Banks must contact clients in persistent debt if they haven’t done so already. Persistent debt occurs when, over 18 months, a customer pays more in interest, fees, and charges than the principal amount repaid.

Credit card firms not complying with these guidelines risk regulatory actions by the FCA.

Moreover, credit card companies have adopted additional measures, giving customers control over credit limit increases. Customers in persistent debt for 12 consecutive months will not face credit limit increases.

This commitment is expected to impact about 1.4 million accounts annually, protecting them from such offers. This initiative aims to promote responsible financial practices and give consumers more control over their credit management.

Credit card debt | Where can advisers help

Mortgage advisers are vital in helping clients facing financial uncertainties, especially those struggling with credit card lenders. The changing financial landscape creates potential problems for individuals, increasing the need for expert debt management assistance.

Failed arrangements with credit card lenders can negatively impact credit ratings, complicating future mortgage applications. Therefore, mortgage advisers can explore alternative solutions for their clients, like remortgaging or second-charge options.

One effective strategy is structuring unsecured debts over a fixed period, focusing on capital and interest payments. This method ensures systematic debt repayment, provided all scheduled payments are met. However, transitioning from unsecured to secured debt requires caution, as it risks the borrower’s home if payments falter.

Connect For IntermediariesDespite the risk, converting unsecured debt to secured debt offers lower interest costs. This enhances affordability by redirecting funds from high-interest payments towards debt repayment.

Moreover, advisers can review their clients’ protection plans. This proactive measure ensures financial commitments are met even during unforeseen circumstances.

As clients receive more communication from credit card providers, advisers can market their services effectively. They can highlight their ability to navigate financial challenges successfully.

In summary, the evolving financial landscape presents a prime opportunity for advisers. They can demonstrate their value by providing innovative solutions for clients facing debt-related issues.

We’ve ended our discussion on “Credit Card Debt | Fantastic Opportunity For Brokers To Help Clients | 2020 .” Until next time, stay Connect!

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