If you suddenly have access to a lump sum of money for settlements, either through an investment, pension lump sum, inheritance etc., you should consider using this money to settle all of your debts. Your debts will then be paid in full and your credit score will improve as your creditors will record your debt as ‘satisfied’ on your credit report.
If however, the lump sum of money is not enough to repay all of your creditors in full, then you should consider the options:
- You could repay one or more of your debts in full which will reduce the total amount you owe. This will in turn allow you to repay your remaining debts within your debt management plan at a faster rate, assuming you maintain the payments to the plan.
- You can ask your creditors what lump sum they will be prepared to accept in exchange for writing-off the remaining balance. This is known as a ‘full and final’ or ‘partial settlement’. You should be aware that if you settle a debt in this way, your creditors may choose to mark the debt as ‘Partially Satisfied’ on your credit file. Again, you can settle some or all of your unsecured debts in this way and reduce the overall term of your debt management plan.
- If your creditors decline your partial settlement offer, you can make a lump sum payment towards one or more of your outstanding debts and reduce your outstanding balance.
The advantages and disadvantages of these options:
- If you choose to settle some or all of your debts in full, your creditors will mark your debt as satisfied which will improve your credit rating.
- If your partial settlement offer is accepted, you will pay back less than the actual amount owed.
- If you can settle some or all of your debts, whether in full, through the acceptance of a partial settlement offer or via a lump sum reduction in the amount owed, the sooner your debts will be repaid and you can make a fresh start. Any reduction in the overall amount owed will reduce the term of your debt management plan, assuming you maintain regular payments to the plan.
- Your creditors may not agree to accept a partial settlement offer. They may either reject it or ask for a higher amount or demand full repayment of your debt.
- If you can only afford to pay-off some of your debts, then you will have to consider how to do this as fairly as possible as some creditors may object if the settlement of another debt is favoured above their own.
- Your creditors are likely to request an up-to-date financial statement when an offer is made. You will also be required to disclose the source of the funds and proof that you have the funds available.
- Clearing your debt will not remove any Default Notices or County Court Judgements (CCJs) that have been served against you from your credit file. They will remain on your credit file for 6 years from the date they were served. For partial settlements, your creditors may choose to mark the debt as ‘Partially Satisfied’ on your credit file which could have an ongoing adverse effect on your credit rating.
- If you wish, Enjay can negotiate partial settlement figures with your creditors on your behalf.