HOUSEHOLDS struggling to meet their credit card payments due to coronavirus-related financial problems may be offered up to three-month repayment holidays.
Most companies will currently give you at least 30 days breathing space if you can show that you’re making an effort to sort out your debts, according to StepChange.
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And from 2021, under new government plans a 60-day breathing space period will see enforcement action from creditors halted and interest frozen for people with problem debt.
During this period, individuals will receive professional debt advice to find a long-term solution to their financial difficulties.
But until then, some providers are offering credit card holders three-month payment holidays to help them through the coronavirus crisis.
It comes as chancellor Rishi Sunak has already asked mortgage lenders to offer three-month payment holidays.
But consider all the options available to you before asking for a payment holiday, and get free debt advice first from organisations such as Citizens Advice and Step Change.
The UK's three credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion confirmed to The Sun that payment holidays will show up on your credit report but said they shouldn't affect your score.
Here's what providers are doing:
Barclaycard isn't offering customers repayment holidays, instead it has axed late payment and cash advance fees between March 19 and June 17.
You can also apply for a temporary increase on your credit card limit.
Barclaycard says you'll still be able to make payments from your card if you take any of these measures.
Contact Barclaycard on 0800 046 8324.
Capital One says it has a range of measures in place to help customers impacted by coronavirus, including a three-month payment holiday and waiving late payment fees.
But it warns it may stop you from using your card if you take up any of these measures – it depends on the individual's circumstances.
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Contact Capital One on 03444 812 812 for information.
But bear in mind it says its phone lines are busier than usual, so you might want to get in touch via its mobile app or website instead.
Lloyds Banking Group and MBNA
MBNA, alongside Lloyds Banking Group which it is part of, will offer credit card repayment holidays but it wouldn't tell us how long these could last.
It's also waived fees for missed payments on credit cards.
Plus, it can lower interest payments and temporarily increase credit card limits.
The banking group says customers taking any of these measures will still be able to make payments on their cards.
You can call it on 03456 062 062, although again it warns lines are busy and you may be better off contacting it via its online services.
American Express and Aqua
The Sun has asked American Express and Aqua for their policies and we'll update this story if we get a response.
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