This section provides information for customers who have been provided with a payment break to help them manage the financial impacts of COVID-19.
If you currently have a COVID-19 Payment Break or have had one previously, below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which you may find helpful.
1. Can I apply for a further payment break?
The guidance issued by the Financial Conduct Authority allowed for customers to apply for initial payment deferrals up until 31 March 2021. Further payment deferrals are only available after this date if:
For more information, including applying for an additional payment deferral (subject to eligibility above), please visit the ‘End of Your Payment Break’ section of this website.
If you are struggling with your finances and worried about whether you’ll be able to resume or maintain your repayments, please click here for more information and support about what steps you can take or refer to Question 2 below.
2. I am worried that I’m going to have difficulty resuming/maintaining my repayments at the end of my payment break period – what should I do?
If you find you’re struggling with your finances when your payment break ends, it’s important that you contact us as soon as possible so we can look at your circumstances and see what we can do to help. We can be contacted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org *or by telephone on 0800 9170932 (please note that due to increased call volumes as a result of COVID-19, there may be a longer than normal wait for us to answer).
You should also be aware that you can obtain free, confidential and impartial debt advice from organisations such as Money Advice Service, StepChange Debt Charity and Citizens Advice. More information and contact details can be found by visiting the ‘Help & Support’ section of the Customer Toolkit on this website.
*Email warning: any email(s) you choose to send us will not be secure, unless, you appropriately encrypt (protect) the information contained in your email.
3. Is my account in arrears as a result of taking a payment break?
No, your account won’t be in arrears as a result of taking a payment break as long as you make your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when it ends. If, however, your account was in arrears before your payment break started and this amount remains outstanding, then your account will continue to be in arrears and this will be reflected on your credit file held by credit reference agencies.
4. Why did you send me a Notice of Sum in Arrears letter?
Whilst your account may not be in arrears as a result of your COVID-19 Payment Break, we are legally required under the Consumer Credit Act (Section 86B) to send you a ‘Notice of Sum in Arrears’ if there’s a shortfall of no less than the sum of the last two payments you’re required to make. These will continue to be issued, as per Consumer Credit Act requirements, on a 6 monthly basis until the end of your agreement.
No action is required by you, as long as you make your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when your payment break ends.
If you’ve missed any of your contractual repayments (for example you missed one or more repayments other than those agreed as part of your payment break), you will have received other correspondence from us. We would encourage you to contact us to discuss your circumstances as soon as possible so that we can see what we can do to help you. If, however, you’ve already been in contact with us about your repayments or already have a repayment plan in place, then there’s no need to contact us again.
5. Will my credit line be affected by having taken a payment break?
No. Your credit file will reflect the status of your account at the point when we agreed your payment break, so if you had no missed repayments beforehand, your credit file will continue to show this for the duration of the payment break period. You should bear in mind, however, that lenders may take information from other sources into account when making lending decisions, such as from your bank account.
6. I’ve cancelled my direct debit to you with my bank – do I need to do anything?
Yes. It’s important that there’s an active direct debit in place. If not, we’ll be unable to recommence your repayments. This may result in your account going into arrears which could impact your credit file and make obtaining future finance more difficult. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to provide us with a new direct debit mandate. A blank form can be downloaded from here. You should do this as soon as possible so that we have enough time to set the direct debit up before your next repayment becomes due.
7. Will I be reminded before my payments recommence?
Yes, we’ll send you a reminder either by email or letter approximately 2 weeks before your repayments are due to recommence. This will give you time to ensure you have enough money in your account before we apply for the direct debit.
8. Why have you sent me an email / letter advising that my payment break is about to end when I no longer have a payment break?
We sent reminders to all of our customer who availed of a payment break to ensure they were kept fully informed. If, however, you’ve already started making your monthly repayments again or perhaps even settled your agreement, no action is required by you and you can disregard the reminder.
9. I have a PCP agreement, the term of which has been extended – will the mileage cap still the same as stated in my agreement?
Yes. We can confirm that we will pro-rata the mileage cap on PCP agreements, so there’s no disadvantage to you. For example, if your agreement was for 36 months, with a mileage cap of 10,000 miles per annum (30,000 in total), the cap will be extended by 2,500 to 32,500 (2,500 being equivalent of 3 months mileage).
10. I’d like to settle / close my agreement, how do I do this?
Please visit the customer toolkit section of our website for details on how to do this.
11. I need to discuss another matter, how can I contact you?
Please visit the Contact Us section of the customer toolkit on our website.
12. Where can I find more information to help me decide what to do?
You can find additional information on the FCA information page ‘Dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic‘ and the Money Advice Service “How to prioritise your debts” page. The Money Advice Service also have a “Money Navigator Tool” which can help you create an action plan based on your individual circumstances.