If you have credit card debt with Barclaycard, you would have received a notification from them in November confirming that their Terms and Conditions are changing soon. This may seem innocuous enough, however, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice that Barclaycard are actually increasing your minimum payment as of 26th January 2021 with some of the increases being significant and potentially unmanageable.
It couldn’t come at a worse time: Financially, January is often cited as the most challenging month of the year with millions of people being paid early in December and facing the financial burden of Christmas, but it could become much more difficult especially if you have used your Barclaycard credit card to pay for the festive period.
If you’re asking yourself, “Can Barclaycard increase my payments?” – The answer is yes, and here is how you could be affected.
How will my minimum payments change?
For most credit cards, the higher your interest rate is, the larger your minimum payment will be. But from the end of January, Barclaycard will be applying a new “personalisation” to your credit card account. This will be explained in the notification you should have received from Barclaycard, and it could impact you in one of the following ways:
- Your minimum payment increasing by between 2 and 5% of the outstanding balance
- Your minimum payment increasing by between 1 and 3% of the outstanding balance, plus interest, default fees, or account maintenance
- If you’re lucky enough to have a small balance – £5 or less – you’ll be expected to clear this in full
We’d recommend digging through your emails or post in order to find out exactly how you will be personally affected, but if you cannot find the email or letter, log-in to your Barclaycard account through the website or Barclaycard app.
I can’t afford my Barclaycard payments – what can I do?
Meeting your credit card debt repayments is hard enough in January and this hike could prove to be very costly and potentially unmanageable for thousands of people. If you feel you will not be able to afford your new credit card debt repayments, we’d suggest taking the following actions:
Make a complaint: You can contact Barclaycard directly and complain about the increase. Explain that the new repayment amount will be unaffordable for you and see if they will be able to adjust it. Barclaycard have advised that a minimum payment would not go up if it was a “significantly large” increase.
Close the account: If you want to reject the new Terms and Conditions, you can; but you must do this before 11th January 2021. That would mean you would not be able to use your Barclaycard credit card in the future and you must maintain the current repayment arrangement until the outstanding balance is cleared.
Switch credit card provider: This will allow you to switch to another credit card company – usually with 0% interest – meaning your Barclaycard account will be cleared and you’ll just have to make payments to your new credit card instead.
Switching may incur a balance transfer fee, but you can check out what offers are available on credit card switch comparison sites such as:
Ultimately, if the increase is not affordable and you have only been making the minimum payment to your Barclaycard credit card for a long time, then you may be in persistent debt. Persistent debt is when someone has paid more in interest and charges than they have towards their credit card debt for more than 18 months typified by making only the minimum payment each month. Whilst the minimum payment is agreed when you take out credit card debt, it will usually only cover interest, charges, and then a small amount of the outstanding balance.
To turn your persistent debt problems into manageable debt, you may need to consolidate your debts with the help of a financial solution such as a Debt Management Plan (DMP) or Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). We’d recommend seeking free debt help and advice from Angel Advance through our Online Debt Advice Tool or by contacting us on 01925 599400.