The risk of coronavirus is serious. Whether you are directly or indirectly affected by the illness your main priority must always be your health and the health of your loved ones. You should always follow the guidance given by the NHS and the government, including self-isolation where necessary.
Once you are sure that your health and wellbeing is safe, only then should you think about your financial situation and trying to stay on top of debts and payments.
Of course, this is a lot easier said than done, especially if you have lost your job or have been furloughed so are on a reduced amount of pay. It is even more scary if you have debt that you finally feel like you are getting on top of. However, there are plenty of things that you can do and paths to take to stay in control while this pandemic grips the world. Eventually, it will pass, and things will return to normal, but until then, here are some steps to help take some of the financial weight off your shoulders.
Find out what help is available from creditors
Not all creditors have revealed their plans for customers whose finances have been affected by the coronavirus. However, most will be flexible and cooperative and will want to work with customers to find a resolution and prevent them from getting into financial difficulty.
Some of the things that they may do include:
Reducing or delaying payments
For those affected by the coronavirus and who are currently up to date with payments, certain creditors may offer to reduce or defer their mortgage or loan repayments for two to three months. It is important to be aware that. although no mortgage or loan repayments are due during this period, interest will still be accrued and added to the overall balance.
Allow you access to savings early
Some creditors have confirmed they are giving customers free early access to their fixed-rate savings accounts, dropping the fees that would normally be charged.
Offer you more credit
Some lenders may be able to increase credit card and overdraft limits in order to facilitate the financing of customers. However, the long-term effects that this may have on your credit file are important to remember. Some will look at other strategies, such as prioritizing what clients need by offering a single monthly payment with low-interest rates, a strategy that Polk Partners is using.
Reassess your arrears
If you are in arrears with payments, some creditors may offer to wipe off a percentage of the debt if you make a one-off payment before a certain date. If you can afford to do this, this is one of the best things that you can do.
Coronavirus is scary and with it comes financial difficulty for many people. However, creditors are generally not bad guys and will usually work with you to help you to find a solution to your financial problems. Just make sure that you call them and speak to them as soon as you are aware that there is an issue and get it sorted before it becomes another thing to worry about.