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Managing credit and finance during COVID-19

Yes, if you can continue to meet your regular payments to credit accounts (such as loans, credit cards and mortgages) and other accounts (such as rent, mobile phone, water and energy), then it’s important that you do so.

Remember, unless your credit provider has agreed to a payment holiday, missed payments can trigger financial penalties.

These are unprecedented times and many people are worried about the impact of COVID-19. If you are struggling to meet any payments (e.g. mortgage, rent, energy, mobile phone) contact your lenders and other providers as soon as possible. They will discuss all the ways they can support you during this time. This could include reducing your payments, pausing your payments for a brief period or increasing your credit limit.

You can also ask your credit providers for a payment holiday. Please remember that if you need a payment holiday on more than one of your credit accounts, you will need to contact each of your credit providers separately.

A payment holiday means you will not be required to make repayments for an agreed period of time. This is what the government referred to when it made the announcement on 17 March 2020 that UK mortgage lenders had agreed to offer a three-month mortgage payment holiday for those experiencing personal financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

It’s not uncommon for lenders to allow payment holidays in exceptional circumstances outside the customer’s control, like the current pandemic. This must be agreed with your credit provider. Your lender may also refer to a payment holiday as an emergency payment freeze.

It is important to remember: you will still owe the amounts that you haven’t repaid during your payment holiday. These will have to be repaid at a later date. Your credit provider will be able to explain to you all the details and how this will work.

This is another name being used for a payment holiday. Please see the previous question.

You must agree a payment holiday with your credit providers. Until you have done this, try to keep making regular payments as any unauthorised missed payments may appear as a late or missed payment on your credit report.

Banks, lenders and other providers have been understandably busy trying to help their customers at this difficult time. Some have recently updated their websites to allow customers to apply to pause their payments online, so check with your credit providers for the most up-to-date advice.

If you have any doubts or questions, contact your credit providers as soon as possible.

No. If you need a payment holiday on more than one of your credit accounts, you will need to contact each of your credit providers separately.

If you have multiple accounts (e.g. mortgages, loans and credit cards) with a single provider, check if the payment holiday will apply to them all.

This will be determined individually depending on the lender. Please speak to your credit providers directly to find out how they will manage your account after the payment holiday has come to an end.

You will need to speak to your credit provider to see how they can continue to support you.

No, the fact that you agreed a payment holiday with a bank or finance provider will not be recorded on your credit report.

People are naturally concerned about how a payment holiday might impact their credit score. If you agree to temporarily freeze your payments with your credit provider then your credit report will not show that you have missed any payments during the payment holiday period.

If you have concerns then please speak with your credit provider.

If you agree a payment holiday you should still regularly check your credit report. If you notice any missed payments on an account while a payment holiday (also known as a payment freeze) was in place, you should contact the credit provider first to discuss this.

If you need help with this, please let us know and we can contact them on your behalf. The easiest way to get in touch is by email to, particularly as our phonelines are likely to be very busy during the pandemic.