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People struggling with their credit and credit card repayments can apply for additional assistance after the new lockdown measures are announced.

There will be Payment breaks on loans, credit cards, car finance, hire purchase, buy-it-now, pawnbroking and expensive short-term loans, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

In a statement on Monday, the FCA said it was in talks to expand measures in support of those who will be affected by the recent restrictions.

New measures will follow later on Monday for those struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments – reports Mirror Online.

Boris Johnson announced one on Saturday new national lockdown, with shops and pubs and restaurants that have to be closed again from Thursday.

Government vacation schedule – which should end on October 31st – will also be extended.

The FCA said the proposals include allowing those who have not yet applied for payment leave to apply.

This could take up to six months – while those with Immediate Pay Later debts can apply for a vacation of up to six months.

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However, it was advised that this should only be used in cases where customers are unable to make repayments as Interest will continue to apply despite the so-called break.

A statement said: “In order to assist those financially affected by the coronavirus, we will propose that consumer credit customers who have not yet had a payment deferral according to our July guidelines can apply for one.

“This can take up to 6 months, unless it’s obviously not in the best interests of the customer. Our proposals suggest that borrowers currently benefiting from an initial grace period under our July policy could apply for a second grace period.

“With expensive short-term loans (like payday loans), consumers could apply for a month’s grace period if they haven’t had one.

“We will be working with trade organizations and lenders to implement these proposals as soon as possible and will make another announcement shortly.

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“In the meantime, consumer credit customers should not contact their lender just yet. Lenders will be providing information shortly on what this means for their customers and how to apply for this assistance once our proposals are confirmed.”

Anyone struggling to pay their bills should speak to their lender to discuss tailored assistance, the FCA said.

This can include a payment schedule or a total suspension of payments.

The FCA also suggests extending mortgage vacation for homeowners.

A new six-month extension is expected to be announced on Monday that would include newly troubled households and those already on a mortgage break.

A statement said: “Mortgage borrowers who have benefited from a 6 month grace period and are still having trouble paying should speak to their lender to arrange customized assistance.”


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