These are difficult times for us all. We are living through a period of major uncertainty in terms of our health, freedom of movement and, of course, our finances. We’re here to offer our support to all of our valued customers through these challenges and would like to inform you of a number of options available to you, with regards to your current loan agreements.
If you are experiencing difficulty as a direct result of the COVID-19 situation, we will be able to defer your payment by 1 month at no additional cost to you (interest will accrue as normal, but you will not incur any late fee or default charges as a result), or we can spread your contractual balance over a longer term to reduce your monthly payments.
If you are experiencing financial hardship because of Coronavirus and are anticipating difficulty in managing your loan repayments, please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.
What should I do if I'm worried about repaying my next loan repayment?
Customers who believe that they will struggle to make a loan repayment due to the pandemic should contact us as soon as possible to discuss potential options to ease the financial burden.
Can I apply for a loan if I don't know when my company will need me back at work?
Yes, as long as your expected income over the next 3 months is at least £1,000 per month, taking into account you working from home. If you have however been put on unpaid leave we'll be unable to assist you at this time.
Can I apply for a loan if my regular working hours have been reduced?
Yes, as long as your expected income over the next 3 months is at least £1,000 per month, taking into account the reduction.
I'm currently getting Statutory Sick Pay, will I be approved for a loan?
We have a minimum net pay threshold of £1,000 per month.
Will you still be able to deal with my complaint within the acceptable timeframe?
All our employees are working remotely and we have successfully implemented our disaster recovery plan to enable a timely response to any complaints.
General health advice
Stay at home
The main advice from PHE and from the government is to use common sense in terms of how you behave if you have any symptoms. The current guidance is to stay at home for at least seven days if you have a new cough or a high temperature. Children should stay home from school if they have these symptoms.
Wash your hands
We should all be washing our hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds regularly to help slow the spread of the disease.
Protect the vulnerable
Although the official guidance is changing almost daily, staying away from vulnerable older people, as well as pregnant women and people with underlying conditions that can weaken their bodies or immune systems, makes sense – particularly if you have any symptoms or have been around anyone with symptoms. COVID-19 could be contagious before your symptoms even start to appear, so caution is recommended if you think you could have been exposed to the virus.
How do I protect my finances during the COVID-19 Outbreak?
When we watch the news or read of the next country to go into lockdown, with businesses closing their doors and people ordered to stay at home, most of us worry about how our finances will be impacted. This is totally understandable – particularly as there seems to be very little official information available about what, if any, protection will be offered to the public to enable them to get through the pandemic financially unscathed.
While we wait for more government information on this, and watch the policies unfold before our eyes, let’s look at some practical steps we can all take to stay financially savvy:
1. Don’t get duped
In any crisis, there are always going to be people who are out to make a quick buck, and the Coronavirus pandemic is no different. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has the following advice in place to help people avoid scams relating to COVID-19:
- Reject deals that seem to come out of the blue
- Beware of paid-for online adverts on those you see on social media channels
- Do not click links or open emails from senders you don’t already know.
- Never allow yourself to be pressured into making a decision.
- Ask to call back a cold-caller who calls you unexpectedly
- Don’t give out personal details, including information about your current or existing accounts or policies.
The FCA also recommends checking its warning list to help check you are dealing with a genuine organisation when considering an offer.
2. Speak to your employer
It’s never too early to talk to your employer about their policies with regards to working from home, flexible hours, paid time off and paid sick leave, for example. Some larger businesses may offer paid time off to look after children in the event of school closures. Others may offer full sick pay for as long as necessary. If your employer doesn’t have a specific policy in place for COVID-19, ask them for the information you need as soon as possible to help you to prepare.
3. Check in with your bank and lenders
Many major lenders and banks now have specific policies in place in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, which may help you if you are impacted financially over the coming few months. For example, some mortgage providers are offering extra support and optional payment holidays. Banks are allowing savers to access cash usually tied up in accounts without giving notice, and some are also abandoning or limiting fees and penalties for missed payments on credit cards and loans.
4. With regards to travel – get insured
If the Foreign Office issues formal advice against travel to a certain country, you will usually get a payout on your travel insurance for cancelling a trip. If you don’t already have insurance for a trip you have booked, make sure you get it as soon as possible, as further cancellations are highly likely for trips booked over the spring and early summer, in particular.
MoneyBoat.co.uk does not provide medical advice and this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site.
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