COVID-19 personal finances - advice and updates

We have already created a regularly updated page that contains the latest coronavirus measures, advice and help for small businesses and the self-employed.

Unavoidably, COVID-19 is going to affect our personal finances too. We want to make sure you know what help is available and where you can find it.

To do this, we’ll be updating this page on a regular basis until the pandemic is over. We’ll also be blogging about new advice and measures that could affect or help your personal finances – so be sure to sign up for our newsletter. You can do this on our blog home page.

  1. Help with housing / mortgages / rent

    1. MORTGAGE PAYMENT HOLIDAYS
      Banks have voluntarily agreed with the Chancellor to offer 3-month mortgage payment holidays to people who are struggling. Things you need to know include:

      1. You’ll need to be up to date with your mortgage payments.
      2. You don’t need to prove your financial problems have been caused by coronavirus
      3. You will still be charged interest, but it will be spread across future repayments.
      4. An agreed payment holiday will not affect your credit score.
      5. You need to apply direct to your mortgage lender.

      Note: 3-month payment holidays are now extended to Buy-to-Let mortgages.

    2.  MORE AFFORDABLE MORTGAGE RATES
      Lower interest rates mean you should see lower repayments if you have a tracker or variable rate mortgage, although fixed rate mortgages will stay the same. Keep an eye on the market and see whether you can get a cheaper deal on your current mortgage.
    3. HELP FOR RENTERS
      The government said on 18 March that landlords will not be able to start eviction proceeding for the next three months. However, if you face financial problems, speak to your landlord as soon as possible. The government expects landlords and tenants to work together to create affordable repayment plans that take into account your personal circumstances.
  2. Getting paid

    1. CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME
      Your employer may ask you to become ‘furloughed’ – granted leave of absence from work. If they do this, they can get 80% of your wage costs up to £2,500 per month from HMRC. This initiative is to preserve jobs through the crisis. More details are on our coronavirus business advice page.
    2. SICK PAY
      If you become ill and have to self-isolate, you can claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day one. If you are self-employed, you can claim Universal Credit to the equivalent amount as SSP.
  3. Help with loans, credit cards and overdrafts

Note: on 2nd April, the Financial Conduct Authority announced that banks will not not be able to charge interest on credit cards or loans for three months - assuming that COVID-19 is causing you hardship. Overdraft costs were also frozen and interest-free overdrafts of up to £500 were also announced. See this post for full details of these measures. FCA guidance is available here.

    1. LOANS
      Lenders are offering payment holidays, reduced loan payments and / or are waiving fees for missed payments. Speak to your lender to find out what they offer.
    2. CREDIT CARDS
      You can ask for a payment holiday, temporary credit limit increase or waived fees for missed payments. Speak to your lender.
    3. CAR FINANCE
      You may be able to arrange a car finance payment holiday. Our blog on the topic can be found here.
  1. Help with tax

    1. INCOME TAX
      Income Tax payments due in July 2020 are now deferred until January 2021
      under the Self Assessment system
  2. Accessing savings

    1. FIXED SAVINGS
      Many banks and building societies will now let you access fixed-term savings without incurring a penalty for withdrawing early.
      Speak to your account provider(s).

FURTHER LINKS ON CORONAVIRUS

For the latest coronavirus news stories and blog posts, please visit the following links:

COVID-19 business news and blogs

Read More

COVID-19 personal news and blogs

Read More
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