Mortgages, Loans and Credit Cards



Three-month mortgage holidays & credit card forbearance are available for those who are struggling. If you may struggle to keep up with your bills and keep food on the table, speak to your bank. Most have said they'll offer forbearance (tolerance and help).  Read the Chancellor of the Exchequer speech here for more information on what the government is doing to help. Banks will have their own criteria for who will qualify to take a holiday and this option will not be available for those who are in arrears. These mortgage holidays aren't underwritten by the Govt - it's offered by banks. More information here


The impact on your credit score is currently unconfirmed. Taking a mortgage holiday will mean that your payments will increase once the holiday is over.

Credit cards. Most banks and card firms told us they will allow emergency credit limit increases, while some will offer repayment holidays and a few will waive fees for missed payments.


Renting

Struggling to pay your rent? Urgently speak to your landlord. This is a more difficult area, as it's often a relationship between two individuals, and landlords may be relying on the income just as much as you are. Explain your situation, and if necessary, ask if you can be allowed more time to pay your rent. Read more on the government website.

Remember, most landlords will struggle to get new tenants right now, so there's a common interest in keeping tenants in properties. Trying to come to a reasonable mutual arrangement helps both. The landlords' associations have encouraged them to show forbearance, so good communication is key.

If you are entitled to some Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, you might be able to apply for further help with rent costs via a Discretionary Housing Payment from your Local Authority. Call our Advisers on 03444 111 444 to find out more.


Work and Employment

Employees are due statutory sick pay from day one. If you're employed and forced to 'self-isolate', whether sick or as a precaution, you are due at least statutory sick pay (some employers give more), though you need to earn on average at least £118/wk to be eligible.

Read the full guidance on sick pay during the pandemic here.

When businesses are closed by Government direction, employers should be able to claim up to 80% of the cost of wages to keep staff in employment as 'furloughed' workers under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will run for 3 months from 1st March 2020. More details here

More announcements on the self-employed are expected by the end of the week. We urge self-employed workers, especially those in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits, not to rush into a Universal Credit claim without having a proper consultation with one of our Advisers. Call 0800 144 8 444 or talk to us online

Useful Websites

 

For up to date money advice visit moneysavingexpert.com

Visit Citizens Advice national page for more information and advice on debt, housing, tax, family and relationships, immigration, benefits and more.

Please refer to Gov.uk for official updates from the UK government as they happen.