Have you received notice that you owe money to the City of Plymouth Credit Union? This institution offers loans to customers, so it’s likely you took out a loan with them and fell behind on repayments. If you don’t have the money to pay your loan back, this guide will take you through all the options available to you to help you avoid getting into further financial difficulty.
Who is the City of Plymouth Credit Union?
The City of Plymouth Credit Union is a not for profit, member-owned financial organisation. They provide financial services for people in Plymouth, Devon, Cornwall. People often use this credit union when they are denied applications with the big-name banks.
As a credit union, they partner with local councils and use members’ funds to offer loans to customers.
What Happens if I Ignore Letters from the City of Plymouth Credit Union?
If you’ve fallen behind on loan payments on your City of Plymouth Credit Union debt, it’s not a good idea to ignore their letters.
Many think that by ignoring letters requesting payments for debt, they will go away. But this is a myth.
If you continue to ignore their attempts to contact you, they do have the power to take you to court to recover the debt owed.
What Legal Action Can the City of Plymouth Credit Union Take Against Me?
If you make no attempt to pay back the debt, the Credit Union could take you to court.
To avoid legal action, you should respond to letters sent to you, even if you dispute owing the money. This will show Plymouth Credit Union that you’re willing to discuss solutions.
Before they take you to court, though, the Union legally must send you all the correct documents. If they don’t do this, you have the right to challenge the claim.
You will receive:
- Default notice – includes information on missed payments and what you owe. After sending this letter, they should give you two weeks to make arrangements.
- Letter of claim – if you don’t respond, this letter will be sent letting you know they are planning to pursue legal action against you.
- Claim pack – Once legal action has been taken, you’ll receive a claim pack giving you all the information.
Will they issue a County Court Judgement?
Although the credit union does have the right to apply for a County Court Judgement against you, this is not the first action they will take.
A county court judgement will compel you to pay Plymouth Credit Union and usually involves monthly payments.
If you receive a County Court Judgement before being issued with the above documents, you can apply to cancel it. This is called “setting aside” the judgement.
This is a complicated process though, so you might need the advice of a solicitor to help with the correct paperwork.
What is a Charging Order?
If you don’t pay the debt back after a county court judgement is issued, the creditor can apply for a charging order which will secure the debts against your home. If you still fail to make repayments, your house could be repossessed.
This is why it’s vital to keep up with repayments if a County Court Judgement is issued. Failure to make payments can also affect your credit score for up to six years, making it difficult to secure loans or credit in the future.
How to Make a Complaint About the City of Plymouth Credit Union
If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, you should first make a complaint directly to the City of Plymouth Credit Union:
Post: City of Plymouth Credit Union, 14 Cumberland Street, Devonport, Plymouth, PL1 4DX
Phone: 01752 201329
If they fail to respond to your complaint or you’re unhappy with the response, you can escalate your complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
What Do I Do If I Can’t Pay My City of Plymouth Credit Union Debt?
In the current climate, many people are facing financial difficulty. So falling behind on loan payments is easily done.
If you can’t afford to keep up with your loan payments, there are several steps you should take:
1. Check the debt is correct
Sometimes, financial institutions make mistakes. So it’s best to check that the debt they claim is correct and in your name. You can do this by checking your credit report online. The debt will be listed against your name if it’s yours.
You can also ask the Union to provide you with an original copy of the signed loan agreement. If they can’t produce this, they can’t prove the debt is yours and so cannot legally demand it be paid.
2. Talk through your options with the Union
If the debt is yours, get in touch with the City of Plymouth Credit Union and explain your financial situation.
They will be able to let you know if there are any options available for you such as freezing interest or reducing your monthly payment, taking a payment holiday to help you get back on your feet.
If you let Plymouth Union know that your circumstances have changed and you can’t afford your repayments, they may agree to a reduced settlement amount to help you pay off the debt.
3. Ask for time to explore your debt options
If you can’t come to an agreement with the Union, let them know you need time to explore your debt management options. They should then give you enough time to look into other options to help you get out of debt. During this time, they shouldn’t continue to send you letters during this time.
What if I Have Other Debts?
If you already have debt and you’re not sure you’ll be able to afford more monthly payments, you’ll need to prioritise your debts and use the snowball method to help pay them off as quickly as possible.
This method involves paying off your smallest debts first and slowly building up to larger debts.
If you have multiple debts and you’re unsure how you’ll pay them all off, check out our guide on the snowball method here.
What Do I Do if I Can’t Afford to Pay Back My Loan?
If you can’t reach an affordable arrangement with the Credit Union and you simply can’t afford to pay back your loan, there are some options available:
Debt Management Plan (DMP) – You can talk to Plymouth Credit Union directly about setting up a DMP. This involves setting up low monthly repayments, freezing interest, as well as other key steps to help you manage your debt and pay it back in a timely fashion.
Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) – a good option if you owe more than £6,000 and need to protect your house from being repossessed.
Debt Relief Order – best if you owe less than £20,000, have a low income and don’t own a house.
Bankruptcy – this one has an unnecessary stigma, but is often the best way to hit the reset button..
Full and final settlements – you may be able to negotiate a lowered final settlement figure.
Write-off debts – in exceptional circumstances, you can ask the lender to write off your debt altogether.
Get a refund on your Loan – if you think Plymouth Credit Union let you take out a loan even though they knew you couldn’t afford to make the repayments, you could be due a refund. New laws have tightened up how loans are given out and are retrospectively giving refunds to anyone mis–sold a loan or finance.
Not Sure What The Best Debt Management Option for You Is?
The most important thing to remember is you have plenty of options to look at if you’re struggling to pay back your City of Plymouth Credit Union debt. Never put yourself into more debt to pay them back.
If you want to look at the different options available to you in more detail, head to our full guide on getting out of debt.