National Debtline

Advice you can trust


Coronavirus and your money


We are continually updating this page as the situation develops. We will make sure that you always have the most up to date information.


Coronavirus and your money


The latest information on the help that is available.

Debt advice - woman on a bench
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Loss of income because of coronavirus?

If you are at risk of being made redundant, see if your employer can keep you on as a furloughed worker. This mean​s your employer can keep you on their payroll rather than being laid off.

Check if you are able to claim benefits. Depending on your exact situation you may be able to claim Statutory Sick pay, Employment and Support Allowance and/or Universal Credit.   

Try and access other forms of help if you are struggling, types of help available include:

  • food banks if you are unable to buy food at the moment;     
  • charitable grants to help you pay emergency bills or buy essential items; and
  • Council assistance support schemes. These may help you buy essential items, pay important bills or buy food. Ask your local council about the help they may provide.

Our coronavirus fact sheet has more information on the help that is available if you have lost your income.

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Can't pay your bills because of coronavirus?


Help with Council Tax

If your income has reduced or you are now claiming benefits, consider applying for Council Tax Support . You may get help to pay some or all of your council tax bill.

If you already get Council Tax Support and are of working-age, you may see your council tax bill for 2020-2021 reduce by a further £150.

  • You do not need to have been directly affected by coronavirus to be eligible.
  • You do not need to apply to the council for this extra reduction. Councils already have details of households that get help through the Council Tax Reduction scheme and should contact you directly.

 


Help with energy bills

Energy providers have agreed that the disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended . Also, if you are self-isolating and unable to top up your pre-payment meter, you can:

  • nominate a third party for credit top ups;
  • have a discretionary fund added to your credit; or
  • have a pre-loaded top up card sent so that your supply is not interrupted.
If you are struggling to manage repayments to your energy provider contact them to see what help they can provide. New guidance means that your debt repayments and bill payments ​could be reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary.

 


Help with your water bill

Water companies have agreed to help customers in a variety of ways because of the coronavirus crisis. Water UK have said that companies are:

  • stopping new court applications on unpaid bills during the current restrictions, and stopping any enforcement visits;
  • actively offering payment breaks or payment holidays for anyone in financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus; and
  • adjusting payment plans urgently to help with sudden changes in household finances.
Each water company will have its own scheme, contact them directly to see what help can be provided.

 


Help with your TV licence

TV Licensing have taken steps to help if you are struggling to pay your TV licence:

  • If you are unable to keep up with payments, call them on 0300 555 0300 to see how they can help.    
  • All arrears letters have stopped being sent to people who have fallen behind on payments. Collection visits by officers have also been stopped.
  • ​If you are in financial hardship and urgently need to stop your Direct Debit payments, call them on 0300 790 6068. If you are unable to get through, cancel the Direct Debit with your bank. You will need to make up any payments that you miss later on.​

Our coronavirus fact sheet has more information on the help that is available if you have are struggling to pay your bills.

Can't pay your debts?

Speak to your lender if you have been affected by coronavirus, they should agree a three month freeze on your loans and credit card payments.
 
If your lender agrees to a payment freeze, this will not affect your credit file. However your lender will continue to charge interest during the payment freeze.
 
If you have an overdraft you can ask for up to £500 to be interest free for three months.
 

If you have debts which are now unaffordable contact us for advice. Whilst you are waiting to receive the advice you need you can send the creditors a letter asking them to hold action on your acc​ount​ due to coronavirus​.

Can't pay your mortgage? 

If you are affected by coronavirus and struggling to pay your mortgage: 

  • Ask your mortgage lender for a three month payment holiday. This means you won’t have to make any payments for three months, but interest will still build up as normal. You have until 31 October 2020 to request one. Contact your lender about how to ask for a holiday.

  • If you have already had a payment holiday and need further help, your lender may offer a further three-month payment holiday.
  • Mortgage lenders have announced that no repossession action will be taken until 31 October 2020.
  • From March 2020 all new and existing possession proceedings will be suspended for at least 90 days.  

Can't pay your rent? 

There are new temporary laws to protect tenants. From 26 March 2020 until 30 September 2020, landlords must give at least three months' notice before they can start court action to evict you.

In England and Wales, the court service also announced that from 27 March 2020, it will suspend all new and ongoing possession action for at least 90 days .  

 

We are open and ready to help you


  • Use our online tool to get debt help now.
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  • Monday to Friday 9am - 8pm.
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  • Speak to an adviser. Call us on 0808 808 4000. Monday to Friday 9am – 8pm.
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