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PRA Group UK: Exposing the Debt Collection Giant’s Tactics!

Learn about PRA Group UK before paying your debts. Uncover crucial insights into their debt collection tactics and empower your financial decisions!

PRA Group UK is a subsidiary of the US-based debt buying company, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. As a significant debt collector in the UK, the PRA Group’s reach extends to various finance companies, credit card companies, and original creditors, offering a wide range of debt recovery services.

They operates under statutory requirements and guidelines set by the Financial Conduct Authority. This includes fair treatment of customers, transparency in their operations, and adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including the Consumer Credit Act.

However, dealing with them, like any debt collection agency, can be a daunting prospect for many. Especially if you’re unversed in what to expect, how to negotiate, or more importantly, what your rights are.

This is why understanding their debt collection process becomes crucial before you start repaying. An informed debtor is an empowered debtor. With the right knowledge and guidance, you can navigate the process, negotiate effectively, and make the best decisions for your financial health.

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Unsecured Debts and PRA Group UK: What You Need to Know

Unsecured debts form a significant portion of PRA Group UK’s operational focus. But what exactly does ‘unsecured debt’ mean, and how does this play out in your interactions with PRA Group UK?

Firstly, unsecured debts are loans that are not backed by an underlying asset or collateral. This includes credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, and other types of loans that do not have collateral, like personal loans. Essentially, when you owe money on these types of obligations and fail to pay, the creditor doesn’t have a direct claim on any particular property of yours, although they can still resort to other means to recover the owed amounts.

This is where PRA Group UK comes in. As a debt collection agency, PRA Group UK is tasked with recovering unsecured debts that have fallen into default. When an original lender, such as a credit card company or a bank, is unable to collect on an outstanding debt, they may choose to sell that debt to a debt collection company like PRA Group UK Limited. This sale typically happens for a fraction of the total outstanding balance, providing the original lender with a way to recover some of its losses.

Once PRA Group has purchased the debt, they become the creditor. Their goal is to collect more from the debtor than what they paid for the debt, making a profit from the difference. The strategies they employ for debt recovery must be within the statutory requirements set by the Financial Conduct Authority, ensuring fair treatment of debtors throughout the recovery process.

It’s worth noting that even when a debt is sold, the debtor’s rights under the original credit agreement remain unchanged. If you find yourself dealing with PRA Group UK or any other debt collection company, be aware of these rights, and consider seeking free debt advice from a debt advice organisation. Navigating the world of unsecured debts can be tricky, but with the right information, you can make informed decisions about your financial future.

PRA Group UK’s Debt Collection Tactics: What To Expect

Understanding PRA Group’s debt collection strategies and tactics is key to managing the situation effectively and safeguarding your rights.

Like many other debt collection companies, they employ a variety of methods to recover outstanding balances. These often begin with written communication, notifying you of the debt they’ve purchased and your new obligations to them as your creditor. Subsequent communication might include periodic letters and phone calls.

A key tactic is to negotiate repayment plans. If you can’t repay the debt in full, they might offer you the chance to set up a payment plan. Such plans can help you avoid legal action and manage your debt in a way that’s more affordable for your financial situation.

They may also present a settlement offer, which can involve you repaying a lump sum amount that is less than the total amount owed. This option can sometimes be a good solution for those who can afford it, as it results in a faster resolution and reduces the total amount paid. However, it’s crucial to seek advice before accepting any settlement offer.

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Can PRA Group Take You To Court?

Yes, they can. If efforts to recover a debt are not successful, PRA Group UK may choose to take further action, including taking the matter to court.

In such cases, they would need to issue a default notice first, which is a formal letter that serves as a final demand for payment. If the debt is not paid after this, the company may decide to file for a County Court Judgement (CCJ). This is a type of court order in England and Wales that might be registered against you if you fail to repay money you owe.

Dealing with PRA Group UK: Your Options

There are multiple solutions available to help manage your debts and regain control of your finances. When dealing with PRA Group UK, knowing these options can help you make informed decisions that best suit your situation.

Settlement Offers and Repayment Plans

One way to manage your debt is through a settlement offer. This involves proposing a lump sum payment that is less than the full amount of the debt. While not all creditors will accept settlement offers, it is an option that can potentially help reduce your overall debt and bring a swift resolution.

Another common approach is to set up a repayment plan. A repayment plan is an agreement that allows you to pay off your debt in regular instalments over a specific period. The amount you repay each time will depend on your financial circumstances and what you can reasonably afford.

Remember, when entering into any agreement with PRA Group or any other debt collection company, it’s important to ensure that you can afford the repayments. If you find yourself struggling, free debt advice is available from a range of organisations who can help you explore other debt solutions.

Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)

One such solution is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). An IVA is a formal agreement between you and your creditors, including PRA Group UK, which allows you to repay your debts over a set period. IVAs must be set up by an insolvency practitioner and, once approved, will protect you from further legal action from your creditors.

During an IVA, you agree to make regular payments towards your debts, based on what you can afford. Any outstanding balance at the end of the IVA period is then written off.

Implications on Your Credit: PRA Group UK’s Impact

It’s vital to understand how dealing with PRA Group UK can impact your credit history, credit file, and overall credit rating.

The Role of Your Credit History

Your credit history is a record of your borrowing and repayment activity. When PRA Group UK is assigned to collect a debt, it usually signifies that there have been missed or late payments, which will likely already have had a negative impact on your credit history.

The Influence on Your Credit File

Your credit file is the information held about you by credit reference agencies. It includes details about your current and past credit agreements, your payment history, and any legal actions related to debt. If a debt is sold to PRA Group UK, it will appear on your credit file as a ‘default’. A default stays on your file for six years from the date it was recorded, even if the debt is paid off during that period.

The Impact on Your Credit Rating

Your credit rating (or credit score) is a numerical value assigned by credit reference agencies that reflects your creditworthiness. A defaulted debt, like one handled by PRA Group UK, will negatively impact your credit rating. This can make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future, as lenders often view a lower credit score as a higher risk.

However, it’s important to remember that paying off your debt or making regular repayments to PRA Group UK can help to restore your credit rating over time. Even with a default on your file, lenders will see that you’ve taken steps to address your financial difficulties, which may make them more likely to consider you for credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do the PRA Group collect for?

PRA Group UK collects for a variety of creditors, including credit card companies, banks, and finance companies. They buy portfolios of defaulted customer accounts from these entities and then attempt to recover the outstanding balance.

Can PRA Group take you to court?

Yes, PRA Group can take you to court if you fail to make repayments towards your debt. This could result in a County Court Judgement (CCJ), which would have significant implications for your credit history. However, this is usually a last resort, and they will typically try to establish a repayment plan first.

Is PRA Group a debt collector?

Yes, PRA Group UK Limited is a debt collection agency. They purchase defaulted debts from original lenders and then work to collect these debts from the debtors.

Who owns PRA Group?

PRA Group, Inc., a company based in the United States, owns PRA Group UK. PRA Group, Inc. is one of the largest debt buyers in the world, with subsidiaries in several countries.

How do I Contact PRA Group UK?


The primary sources for this article are listed below.

PRA Group UK | Committed To Working Together

Details of our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content can be found in our editorial policy here.

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Become Debt Free specialise in providing and administering Individual Voluntary Arrangement (“IVA”) solutions to individuals based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  We do not administer Debt Management Plans, Debt Relief Orders, or any other debt solutions.  We only provide advice after completing or receiving an initial fact find where the individual(s) concerned meets the criteria for an IVA, therefore, all advice is given in reasonable contemplation of an insolvency appointment.

* To qualify for debt write off in an IVA with us, you must have a minimum of £7,000 of qualifying unsecured debt owed to two or more creditors.  The amount of debt write off is based on your own personal circumstances – typically this could be up to 85% of what you owe; and this has been achieved by over 10% of our customers who have successfully completed their IVA’s in the last 12 months.  The amount of debt write off differs for each customer and is dependent upon their individual financial circumstances and subject to the approval of their creditors.

Andrew Bowers is authorised in the UK to act as Insolvency Practitioner by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.


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