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First Plus Loan Debt (Elderbridge) Should You Pay?

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Scott
Scott Nelson Profile Picture

Scott Nelson

Managing Director

MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.

Learn more about Scott
&
Janine
Janine Marsh Profile Picture

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.

Learn more about Janine
· Feb 6th, 2024
Could you legally write off some debt? Answer below to get started.

Total amount of debt?

This isn’t a full fact find, MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

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Firstplus Loans Debt Collectors

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

Have you got a surprise letter from a debt collector about your First Plus Loan Debt?

You’re not alone. A lot of people visit this site each month for help with debt questions. We’re here to help you understand your situation and your options. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about:

  •  Why you might not need to pay your First Plus Loan Debt
  •  When a debt might not be “statute barred”
  •  The idea of a ‘prove the debt’ letter
  •  If you could write off some Elderbridge debt
  •  What to do if you’re struggling with too much debt

We know that getting a letter like this can be scary. After all, nearly half of individuals who deal with debt collection agencies have experienced harassment or aggression1.

Don’t worry; we know what it’s like to be in your shoes. We hope this article will help you feel more confident about dealing with your debt.

Could you legally write off some debt?

There are several debt solutions in the UK, choosing the right one for you could write off some of your unaffordable debt, but the wrong one may be expensive and drawn out.

Answer below to get started.

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find. MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

How to Deal with Your First Plus Debt Letters

The way you deal with debt depends on your situation.

  1. If Your First Plus Debt Is Really Old

If the debt you are being asked to pay is old, it could meet the statute barred test. It means you don’t have to pay a dime because it cannot go to the courts.

Statute barred debt is debt that is:

  • More than six years old
  • Not been acknowledged or paid in the last six years
  • Never received a CCJ2

If your First Plus Debt is all of these, you can send Elderbridge a statute barred letter, with templates found on debt charity websites.

  1. If They Haven’t Proven Your Debt

The other way to deal with your First Plus debt letter is to request proof that you owe the debt.

Elderbridge must prove your First Plus debt to get the courts to enforce it. You ask for this with a prove the debt letter.

A template can be found here.

The benefits are that they may not have proof and you could get out of paying, or it will buy you some time to analyse what UK debt relief options are available to you.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

What is a prove the debt letter?

You have the right to ask a debt collection agency or creditor to prove you owe the money when they’re chasing you for payment.

The onus is on them to prove the debt is yours!

A lot of debt recovery companies sent out “scattergun” letters to people in the hope they find the right debtor!

I suggest you do nothing until the debt collector proves the debt is yours in writing. If they cannot prove you owe the money, you may not have to pay.

How a debt solution could help

Some debt solutions can:

  1. Stop nasty calls from creditors
  2. Freeze interest and charges
  3. Reduce your monthly payments

A few debt solutions can even result in writing off some of your debt.

Here’s an example:


Situation

Monthly income £2,504
Monthly expenses £2,345
Total debt £32,049

Monthly debt repayments

Before £587
After £158

£429 reduction in monthly payments

If you want to learn what debt solutions are available to you, click the button below to get started.

Get Started

When is a debt not statute barred?

As I previously mentioned, debts are barred under statute (the Limitations Act covers UK debt statute of limitations) when a lender/creditor runs out of time to take action to recover the amount owed.

However, just because a debt is statute barred doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

To clarify, in some instances, a lender/creditor could still attempt to recover the money owed from a debtor.

In this instance, the debtor could ‘choose’ to settle the debt but it’s their decision alone.

But an older debt may not be statute barred if the following applies:

  • You made payments towards settling the debt within the six years statutory time limit (12 years for mortgages)
  • Action has already been taken against you and there’s a CCJ
  • You admitted owing the debt within the six years statutory time limit (12 years for mortgages)

Paying Your First Plus Debt

If the debt collector proves your debt, it is best to agree a way to pay.

There are different options available but the easiest is to agree on a payment plan you can afford.

Another option for people with multiple debts is to use an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

These are somewhat like payment plans that last for five years, but all debt is wiped after the period ends – even if there is an outstanding balance remaining!

Thousands have already tackled their debt

Every day our partners, The Debt Advice Service, help people find out whether they can lower their repayments and finally tackle or write off some of their debt.

Natasha

I’d recommend this firm to anyone struggling with debt – my mind has been put to rest, all is getting sorted.

Get started

Reviews shown are for The Debt Advice Service.

What are my rights when dealing with a debt collector?

The debt collection industry is a highly regulated activity. A debt collection agency must follow the law when attempting to recover payments which are past due.

Understanding your consumer rights in debt collection is of paramount importance.

That said, creditors and debt recovery companies have the right to contact you. But they must do so at specific times.

A debt collector must act within UK law, which means there are things they are prohibited from doing. Here’s a quick table that explains what they can and can’t do. If you’d like to learn more about your rights, make sure to check out our detailed guide.

Debt Collectors Can But They Can’t
Contact you by phone or mail. Call you after 9pm or before 8am.
Conduct home visits (on rare occasions) and knock on your door. Forbily enter your home, or stay if you ask them to leave.
Threaten to take you to court by suing you for payment on a debt. Harrass you, including threats of violence, repeated calls and visits, or abusive language.
Negotiate a debt settlement. Tip: make sure to get this new arrangement in writing. Visit your workplace.
Access your bank account, but only after a court judgment has been made. Take anything from your home or threaten to do so.
Sell your debt. Speak to other people about your debt without your permission.
Contact you frequently. Keep doing so if you request that they reduce communications.

Janine, our financial expert, explained that while debt collectors can visit your home for payments, they cannot come to your workplace, act threateningly, force payment, or discuss your finances with others. If they violate these rules, you can complain.

First, file a complaint with the company. If their response is unsatisfactory, take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Can You Pay Off Your Debt with a First Plus PPI Claim?

First Plus was adding Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) onto their loans, and many debtors managed to claw back significant sums of money by making a First Plus PPI claim.

Some people received almost £40,000 back:

“Just wanted to share our success in a PPI claim with First Plus. […] Then a week later we got a cheque each, total amount a few pounds short of £39k! Yes they paid us almost £39,000 for our PPI claim, we couldn’t believe it.”

[Money Savings Expert Forum]

However, the deadline to make PPI claims has now ended. It finished in August 2019 so you will not be able to pay off your First Plus or Elderbridge debt with money from PPI claims.

Nevertheless, you can still use the effective methods mentioned earlier. Or find more useful tips and guidance from the MoneyNerd page of debt solution.

Elderbridge Contact Information

Phone: 0345 8400 244
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Fax: 0345 650 6217
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://elderbridge.co.uk/
Address: Elderbridge Ltd. PO BOX 908 Newport, NP20 9NX
Could you legally write off some debt?

Answer below to get started.

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find, MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

References

  1. Indebted Debt Collection Survey
  2. Money Helper: CCJ
The authors
Scott Nelson Profile Picture
Author
MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.
Janine Marsh Profile Picture
Debt Expert
Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.