What is catalogue debt?

Catalogue debt is a type of debt that you owe after buying something through a shopping catalogue with the intention of paying it back overtime. In short, you’ll have catalogue debt outstanding until you have either made the final payment or cleared the outstanding balance.

At Lowell, we understand that not everyone realises that you can find yourself in debt with a catalogue and how it may affect you. That’s why we’ve created this guide explaining what a catalogue debt is, what happens if you don’t pay catalogue debts, and where to get debt help and advice.

This content is intended to be an impartial guide regarding catalogue debt. Lowell Financial Ltd does not offer financial advice. You can find out more about the organisations you can contact in our guide on debt help and support.

How to pay off catalogue debt

Being in debt can be overwhelming and leave you feeling stuck, but paying off catalogue debt isn’t impossible. If you’re looking to reduce your catalogue debt, here are a few things you might not have thought about.  

Here at Lowell, we don’t offer financial advice. If you’re curious about what the best next steps might be for you, you can get expert debt advice from independent organisations such as those mentioned below.

Seek expert catalogue debt help and advice

At Lowell, we’re aware that there is sometimes a stigma associated with talking about being in debt. However, if you’re struggling with catalogue debt, there are organisations that you can speak to, to get free and impartial financial advice.

From National Debtline to StepChange, there are various independent organisations that offer free and impartial debt advice. They’ll be able to help explain your options and possible next steps based on your individual circumstances. 

Review your everyday spending

It may be that you don’t have a true understanding of how much you’re spending and where your money is going. Reviewing your everyday spending could help you see if you could be saving money anywhere.

Our budget calculator tool is great for providing a clear and simple summary of your income and spending. From there, you can use this knowledge to work out a monthly budget.

Reach out to your creditors for support

If you’re struggling with catalogue debt, you can always reach out to your creditor, the firm you owe money to, and see what they can do to support you.

For instance, it could be that your circumstances have changed since first setting up your payment plan. Once you let your creditors know about this, they can review your payment plan and see if the monthly amount can be lowered.  

It’s important to bear in mind that catalogue debt is classed as a non-priority debt. Therefore, if you have a priority debt such as gas and electricity bills, mortgage and rent arrears, or child maintenance, you should address these as soon as possible as there may be more severe consequences. 

Alternatively, you may be offered a hold on your account. You can use this time to try and get your finances in order and to see financial advice.

What happens if you don’t pay catalogue debts?

If you’re not able to keep up with the necessary catalogue debt payments, you could end up in arrears. This means that you’ve fallen behind on your payments.

From this point, a few things could happen. Your catalogue debt might end up being passed to a debt collection agency or could be sold to a debt purchasing company like Lowell (LPI).

If this happens, the creditor and debt collection company will get in touch to let you know that they’ve become the owner of the debt and that you now owe them the money, that the debt has been sold and what your next steps are.

If you’ve got an outstanding catalogue debt that has been sold to Lowell, we’ll be in touch to let you know that we’re now the legal owners of that debt. Our customers are our top priority, and we want to work together with our customers to set up payment plans that work for their financial situation.

We’ve got a friendly team who are more than happy to listen and help find a way that we can support you on your journey to becoming debt-free with us.

Whatever your situation, it’s always best to get in touch with your creditor or debt collection company and explain your situation so that you can both come to a suitable solution.

Can you get a CCJ for catalogue debt?

Yes, it is possible to get a County Court Judgment (CCJ) for not paying your catalogue debt.

There are situations when a creditor may decide to take court action. If they do, this may result in your balance increasing as a result of additional interest or charges being applied to your outstanding balance.

You can speak to your creditor or refer to any letters that you’ve received on the topic from them to find out what action may be taken by your specific creditor and what this may mean for your situation.

Can bailiffs come for catalogue debt?

Yes, it is possible for bailiffs to come for catalogue debt, however, this is usually only as a last resort if you’ve not been engaging with your creditor or paying the County Court Judgment.

It’s worth noting that a county court bailiff isn’t allowed to force entry over catalogue debt, and you will be given notice before they arrive.

For more information, be sure to read our guide on how to deal with bailiffs.

Can you write off catalogue debt?

In particular extreme circumstances, it may be possible for a creditor to write off your catalogue debt. However, this is very rare and will depend on your personal situation.

If you’re struggling with your finances, there are other possible options available that could help you deal with your debts.

You can also get in touch with your creditor directly to explore other options and see how they can support you. Alternatively, you can reach out to independent organisations, such as National Debtline and StepChange, to explore the different types of debt solutions.

Does catalogue debt affect your credit score?

Yes, having outstanding debt may impact your credit score.

This is because when buying items through catalogues, money from the credit facility purchases the item and you are liable to repay that balance according to the terms of the credit agreement. If you are unable to pay the minimum payment, this may be reported to credit reference agencies and impact your credit score.

As with any type of credit, it’s important to consider what you can realistically afford before spending as not doing so may lead to further consequences.

Do Lowell buy catalogue debt?

Yes, we do. Here at Lowell, we buy various types of debt from other companies, and this includes catalogue debt. To find out more about the process, you can read our guide on how debt purchasing works.

If you’ve been contacted by Lowell about a catalogue debt that you owe or have any questions about a Lowell debt, please contact us. Once we hear from you, we can work together to figure out the best way forward.

Our customers are our top priority, and we genuinely want to make it as easy as possible for you to become debt-free with Lowell.

Pay off your catalogue debt and become debt-free with Lowell

At Lowell, we know that dealing with debt isn’t always straightforward. However, it’s important to know that you’re never alone and there are next steps you can be taking.

When setting up your payment plan, we look at your financial situation and work out what you can realistically afford each month. This is all to ensure that you’re on a plan that works for your personal situation.

After that’s all set up and sorted, you’ll be able to easily make payments to your Lowell account either online or over the phone. Alternatively, our mobile app allows you to manage your account and includes other handy features such as checking your credit score.

For more guides on debt-related topics as well as information on how we work here at Lowell, be sure to check out the rest of the Debt Guidance Hub.

First published: 8th March, 2024