If you are a customer suffering financial difficulties or anticipating payment problems because of Coronavirus, speak to your lender as soon as possible – they are there to help. You will find their contact details on your finance agreement, but please help them to help you by using online forms and emails where possible as call levels are very high at the moment. If you need further assistance with this, please click here
The FCA has recently updated its guidance to lenders on the further help that customers may need as a result of the ongoing Covid crisis.
Check out the FCA’s advice page for mortgage customers and consumer credit customers (including personal loans, credit cards, store cards, catalogue credit, motor finance, rent to own and buy-now-pay-later products).
Second charge mortgages
I have a second charge mortgage on my home but I can’t work, so I can’t make the payment. Will I lose my home?
Your lender will be able to help. Just get in touch so they can get started on finding the best solution for you. Lenders are not able to take repossession action until after 31 January 2021 and would only do so then as a last resort.
For more information, the FCA has a very useful resource page for mortgage customers.
Credit cards, store cards, catalogue credit and personal loans
Am I eligible for another three-month payment break?
Speak to your lender and they’ll help you find the best solution for your circumstances. Think carefully before taking a deferral – if you can still afford to make payments, then it’s in your interests to do so.
The FCA has recently updated its guidance on payment deferrals and you can find the latest information here.
Do I still have to make minimum payments on my credit card?
If you have a payment deferral, you won’t have to make the minimum payments for the moment. If you can afford to keep up repayments, either in full or a reduced smaller sum, then it is in your interests to do so.
What if I fall behind with my repayments?
Contact your lender and explain the circumstances. There’s a range of different options that can be used to help those in financial difficulty – your lender will help you find the right one.
Will these measures affect my credit score?
Lenders use a range of sources to make lending decisions, not just credit files. If you’re having payment difficulties, speak to your lender as soon as possible – they’ll be able to find a solution to suit your circumstances. Lenders will not report a worsening status on credit files during a payment deferral. This should help make sure there is no long-term impact on your credit file if you are able to get back on track at the end of a payment deferral. However, this does not mean that your credit score will not change over this period, as these are influenced by a wide range of factors.
If you need more information, the FCA has a very useful resource page for consumer credit customers.
My motor finance payment is due soon, and I won’t be able to pay. What do I do?
Contact your lender. Check online first to see if they have a self-service facility which might speed up the process for you. Do make sure that you have all of your credit agreement details to hand.
Also, check out the FCA’s resource page, which provides the latest information.
My PCP agreement is due to end soon, but the dealership is still closed. Does that mean I have to pay the balloon and keep the car?
No, you should only pay the balloon if that’s what you would have chosen to do before the Covid crisis. Get in touch with your lender asap to tell them what you would like to do, then see how they can help make that happen.
What if I can’t meet my monthly payment, or the balloon payment at the end of the agreement, will my car be taken away?
The objective behind forbearance in many circumstances is that the car should stay with the customer. Contact your lender and they’ll suggest a solution. There might, for example, be options to extend your agreement and/or reduce your payments to a level you can afford.
If a motor finance agreement is due to end quite soon, can buyers ask for extensions on their deals or leases until the crisis is over?
Yes, they can. They should get in touch with their lender as soon as possible and, as this scenario may suit both parties, there may be an option to discuss changes. It’s always worth asking.
How are lenders organising the return of vehicles, or are they asking customers to keep them, without driving them until the crisis is over?
Lenders are now collecting cars and moving them around, so contact your lender to see what can be arranged.
Are your motor finance members continuing to allow buyers to take out new leases or finance deals, and if so, what measures they're taking (e.g. delivery, sanitization, and so on)?
Our members are open for business, so if a customer wants a car, they should get in touch as normal and the lender will sort out the logistics – taking all the precautions around delivery that you would expect.
Asset Finance (leasing and hire purchase)
I can’t make the next payment for my equipment, but without it I won’t be able to stay in business. What do I do?
Your asset finance lender will have a range of options to help. Get in touch with them as soon as you can, and make sure you have all the details of your agreement to hand if you’re calling them, but ideally contact them online if you can.
Are your members open for business yet?
Yes, they are. Just get in touch with them as normal.
My finance agreement is ending, but I want to keep hold of the equipment for now. What do I do?
Get in touch with your lender and they’ll be able to talk you through the options.