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At a glance: Getting more time to pay if you are behind with your hire purchase payments.
Reading time: 2 mins
This summary covers England and Wales
To view information that covers Scotland, please click here.

What is a time order?

A time order is a way of asking the court to give you more time to pay if you are behind with hire purchase payments.

With a time order, a court can change:

  • The amount you have to pay each month.
  • How long your agreement will last.

In some cases, the court can also change the interest rate.

What credit agreements are covered?

You can apply for a time order if your credit agreement is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974.  This depends on when you took out your agreement and how much you borrowed at the time.

When can I apply for a time order?

  • When an arrears notice has been issued.

    Your creditor will send an arrears notice once you have missed a set number of payments. When they can do this depends on the type of agreement you have.

  • When a default notice, or a termination notice has been issued.

    Your creditor can issue a default notice or a termination notice to tell you to repay the loan, if you have fallen behind with payments.

  • When court action has been taken.

    If a creditor has already started court action against you, you can still apply for a time order.

Time order made by the court

A judge can make a time order if they think it is the right thing to do. They can choose to do this:

  • When a creditor has applied to the court for an order to enforce an agreement.
  • Where the creditor has started court action.

What should I think about when applying for a time order?

The court needs to look at your creditor’s position as well as your circumstances. Make sure you explain any points that may help your case.

  • Was the reason you took out the credit a good one?  For example, did you need a car for work?
  • Could you afford the payments when you first took out the agreement?
  • Is your agreement very expensive compared to other similar agreements?
  • Have you taken out further credit since? If so, was there a good reason for this?
  • Have you had a good payment record until you stopped paying?
  • What is the reason for your non-payment? Have your circumstances changed?
  • Have you tried to sort out the situation with your creditor, but they have refused to negotiate?
  • Is your situation temporary and likely to improve in the future?

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

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