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Living on a debt solution

Why has my creditor asked for further information?

Posted 28 September 2016

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Find out why a creditor may ask for more information.

When you’re on a debt solution, creditors can sometimes ask for more information from you. It’s perfectly normal for this to happen from time to time and usually isn’t anything to worry about. 

To put your mind at rest, we thought we’d take you through the reasons why a creditor might ask you for more information and what you need to do if you get one of these requests. 

 

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Your solution provider should deal with your creditors

If you’re on a debt solution, your debt solution provider is there to support you and deal with contact from your creditors. This means you should see a reduction in the amount of contact you get, other than the information they have to give you by law – like annual statements. 

With a Debt Management Plan (DMP) your creditors don’t have to stop contacting you, but you should still see a reduction in the number of letters you get, as you now have an arrangement in place. If you get a request for more information from your creditor, it’s best to send it on to your provider so they can deal with it for you. 

In some cases, your provider will need to ask you for the information so that they can send it on. If it’s something like a bank statement or proof of address, it might be possible for you to send in a copy and they will then send it to the creditor. They can also keep this on file so that they have it if another creditor decides they need the same information. 

What kinds of things can creditors ask for?

You might be wondering what kinds of things a creditor will ask for. One of the main things they can ask for is proof of address. If this happens, you may be asked to send in:

• a bank statement,

• a recent utility bill (usually dated within the last six months),

• a benefits letter, or

• a letter from HMRC. 

 

If the creditor wants proof of identification, they may ask you to send in photographic ID, which is normally either a copy of your passport or driving licence. If they want proof of name change, the relevant documents are normally a copy of your marriage certificate or deed poll documents – however you changed your name. 

Updating details

Sometimes a creditor will make a request for information just to make sure all the details on their systems are correct. They might need to update your address if you’ve moved or if your name has changed. 

Normally, once they have the information they need, they’ll update their records and that’s the last you’ll hear about it.  

Proving something

Sometimes your creditors might need proof of something, like your income or a change in your circumstances. 

In this case, they might ask you to send a copy of your financial statement. This is a document that shows everything coming in and going out of your household each month, so it also shows how much you can afford to put towards your debts.

When you first start a debt solution, and each year when you complete your annual review, your provider will put your financial statement together and send this out automatically to your creditors. But sometimes unexpected things can come along and impact your ability to keep up with your repayments on a debt solution. A change in job or a cut in your benefits might mean you’re not earning as much as before. 

If there’s been a change like this in your life, you need to tell your solution provider as soon as possible and they will see whether it’s possible to lower your payments. Your creditors therefore might ask for proof of this change in circumstance, so they can see why the payments need to be lowered. 

Request for more information when investigating

A complaint against a creditor can also result in them asking for more information. If you try to claim back mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) for instance, then this can very often result in the creditor asking for more information. 

PPI was attached to some credit cards, personal loans, store-cards, catalogues and mortgages. It was designed to cover you should you not be able to make your repayments on a debt, due to illness or losing your job. But as you may already be aware, PPI was mis-sold in a number of cases because people didn’t know about it or they weren’t eligible to use it for one reason or another. 

In some cases, it’s possible to complain about this and get your money back but while the investigation is ongoing, you may be asked for certain documents. If the account is very old, they may ask for something with the account number. Or they may need proof of name change, if the name the complaint is in doesn’t match the name on their files. 

It’s fine to send them this proof as it will help them in their investigation and speed the process up. 

A word of warning

Normally when you receive a request for more information it’s genuine, but it always pays to be cautious if you’re not sure about who is asking you for your personal information. 

A creditor will normally ask for information in writing – so if you’ve received a call asking for more information and you’re not sure who it’s from or they seem impatient or aggressive, you don’t have to provide your details there and then over the phone. It’s best to give your debt solution provider or claims management company a call. They will be able to confirm whether or not the request is genuine and why your creditor needs the information. If the request is not genuine, you can report the incident to the Action Fraud. 

Got more questions about how your debt solution works? Make sure you check out the rest of our living on a debt solution section. Here you’ll find lots of helpful info about what life is like while your solution is ongoing, and how to make sure your solution runs as smoothly as possible. 

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.