Coronavirus support

 

We all currently find ourselves in circumstances we have never experienced before. UK Credit recognises this and is committed to working with you so you can find the best outcome for you depending on your individual circumstances.

Please remember if you are experiencing difficulty in making your payments doing nothing is not in your best interest. Simply call us immediately. We are here to help you find the best solution for your circumstances and there are a number of ways we can help you.

You should not apply for a loan payment deferral if you are not experiencing or do not reasonably expect to experience payment difficulties.

Payment deferral

One of the options available for consideration is a payment deferral. It is important for you to understand a payment deferral is not a payment holiday nor is it a contractual right. A payment deferral will only be in your best interests under certain circumstances and will only be put in place if these circumstances apply.

A payment deferral means you can request to have your monthly payments deferred for a period of time without being considered as being in arrears. Payment deferrals are designed to help you when you are experiencing or can reasonably expect to experience temporary payment difficulties – for example if you were made redundant or had suffered a reduction in income – in this case, because of the Coronavirus situation.

If you contact us and explain that you are experiencing or can reasonably expect to experience payment difficulties due to Coronavirus then as long as:

  1. Your account is up to date; or
  2. Your account is in arrears as a direct result of the Coronavirus; or
  3. Your account is currently in arrears but in an arrangement

we will ask you whether you would like to consider requesting a Payment Deferral as a solution to your financial difficulties. You can request a Payment Deferral at any time after 14th April for a period of three months.  This means that a Payment Deferral period could extend past the point where the three month window for requesting a Payment Deferral has expired.

Once you have requested a payment deferral we will assess your situation with you to see if it is in your best interests.  As part of that assessment we will give you adequate information to enable you to understand the implications of a payment deferral, including the consequences of interest that is accrued during this period and its effect on the balance due under the agreement and on future payments.

A payment deferral request, once agreed as a concession, will initially last for up to a maximum of three months subject to what your circumstances dictate would be in your best interests.  Of course, for some customers, there is considerable uncertainty as to the future.  For these customers, assuming it is appropriate and in your best interests, we will suggest an initial payment deferral period of one month with a review one month later.  If, at the end of the first month, your circumstances have not improved and you request an extension then we would automatically extend the payment deferral period for a further (second) month as a further concession.  At the end of the second month we would again review the situation with you and if your circumstances have not improved and you request an extension then we would automatically extend the payment deferral period for a further (third) month as a further concession.  Normally the maximum payment deferral will be for three months but in exceptional circumstances, if you request a further extension, we will consider agreeing to extend it further as a further concession.

It is important to remember that a payment deferral is not a payment holiday.  Interest will continue to be charged during the payment deferral period while payments are not being made. Therefore, the amount you owe will increase during the payment deferral period. So a payment deferral may not be in your best interests but we will discuss the options with you on an individual basis. No fees will be charged for assessing and setting up your payment deferral.

At the end of a payment deferral period, you will have to make up for the missed payments and the additional interest that has accrued during the payment deferral period plus any interest that will accrue on these amounts until they are cleared. There are various options for you to do this.  For example, by increasing your monthly payments or by extending the term of the loan or by making a lump sum payment. When you call we will be able to explain to you what options are available to you and what they will cost.

If you are unable to resume payments at the end of the Payment Deferral period because of payment difficulties at that time, we will work with you to resolve these difficulties in advance of payments being missed.

Where you have received a Payment Deferral, or a different solution for a period where a payment deferral has been deemed not in your interests, as a result of circumstances relating to Coronavirus, you are entitled at the end of the period to forbearance under our existing rules, then as part of this, we will waive any interest accrued during the relevant period.

Applying for a payment deferral

If you are experiencing or expect to experience payment difficulties in the near future and think that a payment deferral might be the best remedy for your circumstance, please get in touch and talk to one of our team. Our contact details are as follows:
Phone: 01603 828 828
Email: myloan@ukcredit.co.uk

What to do with direct debits

We recommend that you do not cancel your direct debit without speaking to us first. Cancelling your direct debit is not a payment deferral and could be counted as a missed payment. This could show up on your credit file and may adversely impact your credit rating. If a payment deferral is put in place, we will explain what you should do with your direct debit.

Interest on your loan during the payment deferral

You will still be charged interest during the payment deferral period. However, when the payment deferral period is over, we will help you work out an affordable repayment plan to repay the interest accrued and the payments deferred during this period.

When the payment deferral ends

At the end of the payment deferral, you will resume making payments.

If you are still not able to make your full loan payments due to circumstances relating to Coronavirus, then we may offer you further help, for example, a payment arrangement, if these are appropriate to your circumstances.

Your credit file

As long as we have agreed your payment deferral then we will not report to the credit reference agencies that any contractual payments have been missed.

If you are behind with your loan payments

UK Credit can put in place payment deferrals for borrowers who are experiencing or reasonably expect to experience payment difficulties because of circumstances related to the Coronavirus. Or we may help you put another option better suited to your needs and in your best interest.

If you are currently behind with your payments, UK Credit would expect that you have a payment plan in place and that, you are maintaining this arrangement before considering a payment deferral. But please always contact us to discuss your situation and we will do our best to help you find a solution that works for you.

How long do I have to apply for a payment deferral?

You should speak to us as soon as you are aware of any circumstances that could lead to you being in financial difficulty and ideally in good time before your next payment is due.

Contacting UK Credit at this time

We are committed to responding to you as quickly as possible. However, due to high levels of demand for help and staff having to work from home it might take us a little longer than usual to answer your call or deal with your request. It is, however, important that you contact us if you are experiencing difficulties as soon as possible.

Are you a Guarantor?

As a guarantor, you may also have concerns regarding payments of the loan, for which you are guarantor. UK Credit is committed to helping both borrowers and guarantors in financial difficulty. You should contact us if you are experiencing or reasonably expect to experience payment difficulties because of circumstances related to Coronavirus.

As the loan will not be considered as being in arrears during the Payment Deferral period we will not pursue the guarantor for any payments during this period but we will make them aware of the Payment Deferral as we will want to keep guarantors informed of the status of the loan for which they are potentially liable.

We will review each account on a case-by-case basis. We can then make sure any arrangements we put in place are tailored personally to you and are in your own best interests.

Useful information

What we’re doing at UK Credit

We review each account on a case-by-case basis. This means we can help you put in place solutions that are tailored to you and are in your best interests.
If you need to contact us, you can find our details here.

Off work due to Coronavirus?

If you’re required to take time off work and are employed or self-employed, The Money Advice Service has put together some useful information covering your rights and what you’re entitled to receive.

Employed

The government has announced they will pay employees’ wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This will pay 80% of retained workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. If applicable, these payments will be backdated to 1st March 2020 and it’s hoped the first payments will be made before the start of April. The scheme may be extended if necessary.

On 26th March 2020, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) published guidance confirming who is eligible to claim from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover wages for employees who have been furloughed due to Coronavirus, what amounts are available through the scheme, and how employers should make claims.

Self-employed

On 26th March 2020, the government also announced a scheme which will provide support for self-employed individuals who have lost income as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, self-employed individuals will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months. The scheme may be extended if necessary.

Statutory Sick Pay

The government has introduced changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for anyone required to self-isolate or take time off. During the crisis, SSP will be paid from the first day of illness rather than the fourth day. You’ll also be able to claim SSP if you’re caring for anyone in your household that has been told to self-isolate.

SSP is £94.25 a week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks. To be eligible for SSP, you need to earn at least £118 a week. However, if you’re not eligible for SSP, you can instead claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.

How is Coronavirus affecting benefits?

If you receive Universal Credit, you’ll usually need to meet specific requirements to remain eligible. These can include job searching or attending regular meetings. However, due to the pandemic, all requirements for in-person meetings are suspended and you can complete these meetings over the phone instead.

The government has also confirmed that if you’re receiving any disability benefits, you’ll no longer need to attend face-to-face meetings for the next three months. Similarly, if you’re applying for these benefits, you won’t need to complete a face-to-face assessment.

Seek financial help as soon as possible

If you’re concerned that your debts are mounting up and you’re unable to repay them, we’d always suggest seeking independent help from a debt advice charity such as StepChange. They provide a free, impartial and confidential service and they have experience helping people in similar positions.