Mortgage UK: How To Protect Your Credit Rating As The Payment Holiday Ends In 3 Weeks | Personal Finances | Finance

Mortgage payment holidays were among the first support measures launched by Rishi Sunak last year and eventually this support was extended to a range of financial obligations. It is possible to freeze payments on credit cards, store cards, and various other debt-themed products.

However, these payment holidays can only be claimed until March 31, exactly three weeks from now.

While it may seem like a long time, research from Credit Karma warned that applications could take weeks to be approved.

As such, they are urging consumers to act now to take advantage of the concessions and ensure their finances are not affected.

Akansha, Head of Partnerships at Credit Karma, commented: “Credit bureaus have agreed that any consumer using an ’emergency payment freeze’ for those affected by the coronavirus will not see their credit score. So, for those in financial distress, it is but these arrangements are rarely put in place overnight.

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“You will need proof that your repayment vacation has been approved by your lender, and it may take time.

“Borrowers should try to engage in a dialogue with their lender as soon as they are concerned about missing a payment, as the default will impact your score.”

In light of this, Akansha shared tips on how a conversation with a bank or lender should begin before the application deadline approaches:

  • Pick up the phone – as social distancing leads to branch closures, talking to your bank on the phone is the most effective way to start a dialogue to get a repayment break
  • Get a written agreement – try to get all agreements from your lender in writing to avoid being caught off guard. If you notice that missed payments are having an impact on your credit score, you may need to prove your lender’s approval.
  • Think ahead – getting your vacation repayment approved can take a long time. Try not to wait until you run out of cash to request a break – if you leave it too late, you may run out of time, which can impact your credit score.

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Although payment holidays have been extended several times in the past, it now looks like the government will end foreclosure restrictions in the coming months, which means consumers may have to grapple with their finances. ‘here in the summer.

Akansha also commented: “For those who are worried about what their financial future may hold in store, now is the time to act and find a way to deal with the debts they cannot bear because of the missed payments. and defaults could have a long-term impact on their ability to borrow in the future. ”

Luckily, Credit Karma has put together some tips Britons should follow if they are affected by the end of payment holidays:

  • Know your options: call your bank or credit card provider, as this may offer flexibility or changes to your repayment plan, including lower interest rates, smaller minimum payments, and / or removal of certain penalties. Although it is interesting to note that credit scores will no longer be protected after the end of the payment holiday, and any changes to your agreement may be reported to the credit reporting agencies by your lender.
  • Minimize a Missed Payment: If you miss a payment, you can minimize its effect, as vendors typically won’t report a late payment to credit bureaus for 30 days. If you can complete your payment within 30 days, you may not have to worry about the late payment added to your report. The longer you wait, the more serious the consequences will be. Acting immediately can help you avoid the worst times of a missed payment.
  • Don’t default to your credit card: If you know you’ll have to spend more than you currently have to make ends meet, you can use your credit card. However, pay attention to your credit card interest rate and take stock of your options to make sure you don’t accrue interest and additional fees. For example, if you are looking for an alternative, personal loans will often have lower interest rates than credit cards. Or you can look for low interest or even 0% interest credit card introductory offers.
  • For those who can live on payday in payday, think twice before taking out a payday loan. Payday lenders tend to prey on those who find themselves in desperate circumstances like these and these loans can be the start of a long cycle of debt. A payday loan can come with unfavorable terms, including fees and high interest rates, so before you borrow money, take a good look at the fine print. Instead, consider other options available to you, such as a personal loan.
  • Beware of “ buy now, pay later ” offers – It may seem useful to split or delay payments with these type of services, especially when your money is limited. But it can make it much easier for people to buy more items and worry about subsequent repayments, which in some cases could result in unaffordable levels of debt. Plus, point-of-sale lending means missing out on credit card rewards or cash back rewards.

Recently, the FCA updated its guidelines on mortgage leave rules, retailers should not enforce foreclosures, except in exceptional circumstances, until April 1, 2021.

The FCA has released draft guidelines for businesses starting April 1 to ensure mortgage clients whose homes can be repossessed are treated fairly and appropriately, especially where there are risks of harm. for customers vulnerable due to the coronavirus.

In January, the FCA updated the Personalized Credit Support Guide for Consumer Credit Products, which allowed businesses to repossess goods and vehicles from January 31, 2021, but only last. recourse.

The FCA also urged consumers to remember that all payment deferrals will end on July 31 under current rules.

Consumers are also urged to “think carefully” about whether to accept a payment deferral.

Banks and other financial companies are required to provide tailored assistance to customers struggling with coronavirus, which may be more tailored to their long-term needs.

From April 1, consumers newly affected by the coronavirus, or finding themselves again impacted (whether or not they have already had a payment deferral), should benefit from support from their lender in the form of support on measured.

This could include short-term support such as a deferral of payment, if applicable, although this is subject to normal credit reporting rules, while credit ratings are currently protected.

Do you have a financial dilemma that you would like to have the advice of a financial expert on? If you would like to ask a question of one of our financial experts, please email your query to

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