Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive at The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently said: “For those who have already taken a payment freeze and can afford to start making payments, even partially it is in their best interest to do so.”
Therefore if you are able to resume your normal monthly instalments this would be our recommendation as a vehicle is a depreciating asset.
However, if you have previously had a payment deferral but continue to be financially impacted by COVID-19, we have a number of available options that will allow us to continue to provide you with some additional assistance should you need it, in line with the FCA guidelines.
These options may not be suitable for everyone and we will assess each request individually.
What if I have not had any previous assistance?
If you are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19 and have not already received assistance from us, we can offer you a 3 month payment deferral.
Alternatively, you can find out more about the options available to you here:
What if I have already had a payment deferral?
If you are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19 and you have already had a 3 month payment deferral, we can offer you a second 3 month payment deferral. Before requesting a second 3 month payment deferral please read the ‘What is a second payment deferral?’ section below.
What help is available?
In line with the FCA guidelines, a second three month payment deferral may be an option of assistance. We also may be able to reschedule your agreement to extend the term for an additional period of time, which will effectively reduce your monthly instalment amount. Any reschedules are subject to eligibility and will be assessed based upon your circumstances.
If you have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 you can receive independent advice and money guidance through the Money Advice Service.
- What is a second payment deferral?
A second payment deferral will pause your monthly payments and Direct Debit for a period of 3 months after which your Direct Debit will resume, and your payments return to the original schedule. Your agreement will then be extended by 3 months. No other terms of your agreement with us will be affected by this change.
A second payment deferral may be suitable if you are confident that you will be in a position to continue your normal monthly instalments when exiting your 3 month deferral.
Also please be aware we can only apply a maximum of two payment deferrals, totalling 6 months.
Please be advised this change is only applied to your agreement relating to your vehicle finance with us. As the payments are deferred to the end of the agreement, you will have an extended finance term with us and accordingly we recommend reviewing other arrangements that could be affected, such as your insurance, warranties, breakdown cover or MOT.
- What is a reschedule?
A reschedule will increase the term of your agreement by a specified period of time. Your original payments will be spread across the new term, which will effectively lower your normal monthly payment. Please note that the additional months will attract interest, which will be charged at the rate stated on your original agreement documentation, so please carefully consider this option as the overall cost of credit will increase.
- How do I apply for additional help after having two payment deferrals?
If your payments are up to date and you have already had two payment deferrals
We will need you to complete the following form, which will allow us to assess your circumstances and determine the most appropriate help for you.
If your payments are currently not up to date and you have already had two payment deferrals
Someone from our dedicated team will be in contact with you before your current deferral period comes to an end. They will discuss your current circumstances and the options available to you going forward.
- What happens once I have completed the additional help form?
One of our dedicated team will be in contact within 5 - 7 working days to discuss the available options.
- What happens once the reschedule has been accepted?
You will be sent new documentation which will confirm your new payment schedule, interest and total cost of credit. All other terms and conditions will remain the same as your original agreement.
You will be required to sign and return the documentation in order for the changes to take effect.
- Will it affect my Credit History?
No, you will be signing a new agreement and this will be reflected on your credit file. Provided that you maintain the new payment schedule this will not adversely affect your credit file.