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Support Available During Coronavirus

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Support Available During Coronavirus

Undoubtedly, the present situation of a COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the lives of many people. But it is very important for all of us to know how we can deal with the problems that we are facing and what help is available to support us.

Mortgages 

In terms of mortgage payments, the lenders will allow people to apply for a three-month payment holiday. The interest accrued during this period will be added to the outstanding balance of your mortgage and will be repaid eventually.

To do that, you can simply call or email your lender and you will not be asked to prove that you’re struggling financially.

Those who have bought a property using the Help to Buy scheme can also apply for a three-month payment holiday on the interest only equity loan.

This help is already available and many homeowners and landlords are currently benefiting from it.

Rent Payments

If you are currently renting a property and struggling to make your rent payments, your landlord will not be able to evict you from the property for three months. However, that does not mean that you can have three months free of rent. You would need to contact your landlord or management agent and explain your situation as soon as possible, so a payment plan can be agreed to cover any missing payments.

Buy-to-Let landlords can only apply for a payment holiday from their mortgage if their tenants are unable to pay their full rent during this period. The Government is also helping those who are unemployed, or on a low income, by increasing the housing allowance to cover at least the bottom 30% of the markets rents in their area.

Utility Bills

Utility bills are another concern for many people who will be suffering from reduced income in the next few weeks or months. Therefore, the utility providers have been instructed to support custumers by reducing, pausing or reassessing payments for gas, electricity and water.

Customers who are using pre-payment meters should also be helped, but providers cannot add credit to their meters. Instead they can have a discretionary fund to increase their credit or the provider can send a pre-loaded card, so the supply is not interrupted in any way.

Debt Payments 

In regards to any debt payments, many lenders have lifted their late payment charges for people whose finances are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. They also offer payment holiday on unsecured debt.

Similarly to the mortgage payments, you would have to contact the lender as soon as possible to arrange a suitable plan. Unlike, the mortgage lenders, this scheme is not a formal scheme announced by the Government. Therefore, each lender can make their own decision about whether to pause the payments or not. These lenders may require proof to show that you are in financial difficulty.

Benefits 

The Government has also announced an increase for those receiving certain benefits, to help those on low income.

The Universal Credit allowance has been increased with £20 per week for both new and existing claims. The increase will start from 6th of April and will continue for 12 months.

There will be an increase of £20 a week also for people who are eligible for working tax credit.