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 agreed to offer 3-month mortgage payment holidays to people who are struggling. You have until 31 March 2021 to apply. After this, banks are expected to offer tailored support. 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.

      Go to the FCA guidance on mortgage holidays.

    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
      After a moratorium on evictions, from 29 August, most tenants are entitled to six months' notice (this is 4 weeks if you have rent arrears of six months or more).To protect against Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, the government has changed the law to ensure bailiffs do not enforce evictions in England over the period of national restrictions, which are in force until the beginning of the day on 2 December, and, following the lifting of these restrictions, there will be no bailiff enforcement throughout December, and over Christmas, until 11 January 2021. This means that no eviction notices are to be served until 11 January at the earliest and, given the 14 day notice period required, no evictions are expected to be enforced until 25 January 2021 at the earliest. The only exceptions to this are the most serious circumstances: illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing, where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant and extreme rent arrears equivalent to 9 months’ rent with any arrears accrued since 23 March discounted.

      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. The charity Shelter also provides online advice.

  2. Getting paid

    1. JOB SUPPORT SCHEME
      The Coronavirus Job Retention ('Furlough') Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. Government will pay 80% of the wages of furloughed employees while employers pay the relevant NI and pension contributions. Flexible furlough is also allowed, meaning you may be asked to work some of your hours - which will be paid for by your employer. More information is available here.
    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

    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.Go to the FCA guidance on payment holidays.
  4. Help with tax

    1. INCOME TAX
      Income Tax payments due in July 2020 are now deferred until January 2021
      under the Self Assessment system
  5. 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

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