COVID (and payment breaks)

We fully understand that the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on income are worrying and you may be concerned about what that could mean for you and your current finance agreement.  Please be assured that we will help all our customers impacted at this challenging time.  As the impacts of COVID 19 evolve, Northridge has implemented plans to assist our customers, our intermediary partners and our staff.

This section provides information for customers to help them manage the financial impacts of COVID-19.

If you previously had a COVID-19 Payment Break or are impacted as a result of Covid 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 and subsequent deferrals (criteria applying) up to 31 July 2021.  Please note that as per FCA Guidance, the last date that a payment deferral can be in force was 31st July 2021.

 

2.  I am worried that I’m going to have difficulty maintaining my repayments– what should I do?

If you find you’re struggling with your finances as a result of Covid (or for any reason) it’s important 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 northridgecollections@northridgeuk.com* or by telephone on 0800 9170932.

You should also be aware that you can obtain free, confidential and impartial debt advice from organisations such as Money Helper (previously known as the 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.  Was my account in arrears as a result of taking a payment break?

No, your account wasn’t in arrears as a result of taking a payment break as long as you made your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when it ended.  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 file 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 had a PCP agreement, the term of which has been extended – will the mileage cap still be the same as stated in my agreement?

Yes.  We can confirm that we pro-rated 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).

 

7.  Can I return my car?

For customers with hire purchase or PCP agreements regulated by the Consumer Credit Act, ‘Voluntary Termination’ may be an option that you may wish to consider.  If you would like more information on Voluntary Termination and eligibility, please visit our ‘Voluntary Termination ’ page.

 

8.  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.

 

9.  I need to discuss another matter, how can I contact you?

Please visit the Contact Us section of the customer toolkit on our website.

 

10.  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.   Money Helper (previously known as the Money Advice Service) also have a “Money Navigator Tool”  which can help you create an action plan based on your individual circumstances.