Engaging with People in Debt: Top Five Tips for Navigating Consumer Forbearance Options

By Isobel Crosse, Head of Strategy and CX

In the ever-evolving financial landscape, offering effective consumer forbearance options has become a crucial strategy for creditors and a lifeline for consumers during tough times, allowing individuals to temporarily ease their financial burden.
As pioneers of collections and recoveries solutions, we understand the significance of tailored forbearance plans.  In this article, I share my top five tips for effectively navigating consumer forbearance options for achieving successful consumer outcomes.

  1. Proactive Outreach Yields Results
    Initiating early and empathetic communication with consumers facing financial challenges can significantly impact the success of forbearance options. Reach out to consumers before their financial situation deteriorates further, using data to assess the right time to do this. A simple, empathetic conversation can lead to cooperative solutions that benefit both parties. Engage in open dialogue to assess the consumer's circumstances and identify suitable forbearance alternatives.
  2. Tailor Forbearance Solutions
    Every consumer's financial situation is unique, and one-size-fits-all solutions rarely suffice. Customise forbearance options based on individual circumstances. Consider offering deferment, extended repayment timelines, reduced payment plans or temporary interest rate reductions. By acknowledging consumers' specific challenges, you demonstrate your commitment to helping them overcome financial hardships.
  3. Embrace Technology for Efficiency
    Leverage technology to streamline the forbearance process. Implement user-friendly online portals that enable consumers to submit financial information, or automate this through open banking, and access relevant resources easily. Automated communication tools can keep consumers informed about their options, reducing confusion and frustration. Technology-driven solutions enhance consumer experience and build trust.
  4. Empower Consumers with Information
    Transparency is key to successful forbearance solutions. Clearly explain the terms, implications, and expected outcomes of each option. Provide accessible resources that help consumers understand their rights and responsibilities during the forbearance period. Educated consumers are more likely to cooperate and contribute to a successful recovery process.
  5. Maintain Ongoing Communication
    Establish a communication channel throughout the forbearance period. Regularly check in with consumers to assess their progress and address any evolving financial challenges. Flexibility is essential; be open to adjusting forbearance plans if unforeseen circumstances arise. A proactive approach to communication demonstrates your commitment to consumers' financial well-being.
  6. In conclusion, crafting effective consumer forbearance options requires a strategic approach that benefits both creditors and consumers. By adopting proactive communication, tailored solutions, technology integration, transparent information sharing, and ongoing dialogue, creditors can achieve successful debt recovery outcomes. TDX Group remains dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating these challenges and optimising consumer forbearance strategies.

    As a creditor, your commitment to providing empathetic and practical solutions empowers your consumers to regain control of their finances. By implementing these expert insights from TDX Group, you can build a reputation as a responsible and supportive creditor while achieving positive debt recovery results. Together, we can make the debt industry better for everyone.

    If you’re interested in learning more about our communications strategy please contact us here