Discounts

You’ve recently received a letter or email from Lowell which talks about a discount offer. We want to explain what this is and make sure you have all the information you need to help you decide if this offer is right for you.

You can find answers to some of our more common questions below, but if you need more information, you can contact one of our agents to talk through your options. You can call us on 0333 556 5700, chat to us using our live chat function, or write to us at PO Box 13079, HARLOW, CM20 9TE.

Why have I been offered a discount?

Every year we help thousands of people to take control of their debt in an affordable and sustainable way. To do this we sometimes offer our customers a discount as a way of reducing the overall balance owed to Lowell. For many customers, this discount can help to make the debt more affordable to repay, and can also help them complete their repayments in a shorter timeframe.

Can the discount offer be used on all the debts I have with Lowell?

The letter or email you have received from Lowell will explain which of your debts are eligible for a discount, how much the discount is for and how long the discount offer will last.

How do I know whether a discount offer is right for me?

We know that every customer’s circumstances are unique, so please consider whether the following apply to you, to see if our discount offer would suit you. Typically, a discount offer would work best if you:

  • Don’t think you are able to pay off the full amount owed to Lowell
  • Want to clear your debt as quickly as possible
  • Are happy for your credit file to show “partially satisfied” for your accounts with Lowell

Do I have to take the discount offer?

No, not at all. Whether a discount offer is right for you will depend on your own personal circumstances. If you’re unsure, you can always contact us to talk through your options. We’re here to help you.

What should I do if I want to accept the discount offer?

If you think our discount offer is right for you, you can accept it by getting in touch with us within the timeframe mentioned in your letter, and we’ll work with you to agree a suitable, affordable payment solution.

You can also accept your discount offer online. The offer will show when you register and log in to manage your account online.

To help explain discounts and the impact of accepting one, there are a few things it’s good to understand in a bit more detail, starting with your credit file.

What is a credit file?

Your credit file (also known as a credit report) is a record of your personal credit history. It contains information such as:

  • When you have applied for credit and with which lenders
  • Whether you are registered on the Electoral Roll
  • Whether you have any debt
  • Details of any repayments you’ve made and whether you’ve made these on time
  • Whether you’ve missed any payments or have any CCJs (County Court Judgements)

Credit files are put together and managed by Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) using information shared by lenders, utility providers and publicly available information such as electoral information. In the UK the main CRA’s are Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union (formerly Call Credit)

What is a credit file used for?

When you apply for any kind of credit (such as a loan or credit card), a lender may use the information in your credit file to decide:

  • Whether to lend to you,
  • how much they are prepared to lend to you (for example, the credit limit on a credit card)
  • What interest rate they will charge you

Credit files are also used by the companies you already borrow with, to assess whether you should receive an increase in credit (e.g. whether your credit card limit could be increased ) or to offer you other products.

If a lender believes the information in your credit file means you might be higher risk, this could mean they offer you a smaller amount of credit, or decide not to offer any at all. If they do offer you credit, they may do so at a higher interest rate meaning it will cost you more in the long term to borrow the same amount of money.

I’d like to see my credit file; how can I do this?

It’s a good idea to check your credit file regularly to make sure the information contained in it is accurate and up to date.  You can access your credit file through one of the free tools provided by the CRAs:

How could accepting the discount offer impact my credit file?

If the debts you have with Lowell are being reported to the CRA’s, we’ll update them with details of any payments you make to us.

It’s much better to pay your default than leaving it unpaid, but if this is an option, and you accept a discount, it’s good to understand how this might impact your credit file:

  • If you choose to accept a discount offer and pay the remaining balance in full – any default will show as ‘partially satisfied’ on your credit file. This tells other lenders that whilst your debt was settled, you’ve made an agreement to settle it for less than the full amount.

 

  • If you choose not to accept this discount offer and continue to pay your account in full – any default will show as ‘satisfied’ on your credit file.

Different lenders may use different pieces of information in your credit file to decide whether to lend to you. For this reason, the extent to which a ‘partially’ satisfied debt on your credit file can impact your ability to access credit in the future, can vary from lender to lender.

Typically, it is better to pay a debt in full, even if you can’t do this all at once, but if this is not an option for you, partially settling an account is better for your credit file than not paying anything at all.