How do I know if I’ve had PPI?

Look on current or past debts paperwork to see if PPI charges are attached, though they may have other names such as payment cover, ASU, card protection or loan care. You’re looking for an insurance designed to cover repayments on loans, credit and store cards and other debt, in the event of accident, sickness or unemployment. If unsure, ask the lender.

How far back can I go?

As long as the PPI was active within the past six years (or is still active), then reclaiming is fine: for example, you took it out in the Nineties but were still paying it five years ago. For older policies, you can still try to reclaim (and some succeed), but the chances are lower.

I can’t remember who my lender was

Your credit reference files, held at equifax.co.uk and experian.co.uk, carry details of all your lending, and you have a legal right to see them, at a cost of £2. Or see the technique to get them free at www.mse.me/creditrating.

I haven’t got the paperwork

You can often reclaim without it, but it’s better if you contact your lender to ask for a copy of your credit agreement under the Consumer Credit Act. It must comply, but it can charge you £1. If your account is closed you can instead ask for a full breakdown of your account (this can cost £10).

Can I claim on more than one account?

Yes. Treat each PPI insurance policy as a separate claim.

My lender has gone bust/been taken over

If it’s bust, reclaim from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which covers the liabilities of defunct insurers. If taken over, go to the new provider, so for the Egg card, you reclaim from its current owner, Barclaycard.

What do I do if the bank rejects my claim?

Shrug your shoulders and carry on. A bank rejection is just part of the dance. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. The next step is to fill in the online forms at the free Financial Ombudsman service (www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk), which will assess whether or not you were mis-sold. A staggering 72pc of people who take PPI to the ombudsman win – and remember, they’ve all been turned down by the bank first. But there’s a backlog, so don’t expect it to be quick.

Do I pay tax on the money?

Not on refunds, but you do on the interest that’s paid on top of it, just as you would have had you kept the cash in a savings account.

Charges when you don’t get cash

If you’re in arrears, banks can sometimes use your refund to clear or reduce other debts. So you don’t see the cash, but the claims company still wants its cut.