- Coronavirus - Your financial guide
Coronavirus - Your financial guide
The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on our everyday lives. It's important we all work together and follow the guidelines set out by the government to slow the spread of the virus – available here.
We've pulled together this guide to help you understand how coronavirus might affect you finances and to signpost some of the support available.
Note: we don't offer financial advice, so important you do your own research and obtain expert advice where needed.
I'm struggling with my energy bills
You should contact your energy supplier directly for support and advice.
- A statement from Budget Energy (link)
- An update from Click Energy (link)
- An update from SSE Airtricity (link)
- An update from Electric Ireland NI (link)
- Covid-19 update from Power NI (link)
I'm struggling with my mortgage bill
Due to the unprecedented situation the government has agreed with providers that those who are struggling can take a temporary 3-month break from payments. This is known as a payment holiday. Interest will still be charged during the break, but you won't have to pay it back immediately.
You should contact your mortgage provider directly to apply. Most have further details online.
I'm struggling with my rent bill
You should speak to your landlord if you're struggling to pay your rent. You may be able to reach an agreement such as a rent reduction, or deferral of payment. It's important you capture any agreement in writing.
We also recommend you contact an organisation such as Housing Rights for further advice.
I'm struggling with credit card or loan payments
You can ask your lender for a freeze on repayments for 3 months. Interest will still be accrued in this period, so you may pay higher costs over the long term.
You can find further information from the FCA (who regulates consumer credit) here.
I've heard there is support for overdrafts
Yes, that's correct.
If you already have an arranged overdraft, you can ask your provider to make the first £500 of overdraft borrowing interest free for 3 months. If your current limit is less than £500, then you won't pay any interest up your existing limit.
If you don't have an arranged overdraft, or your limit is less than £500, you can request a new overdraft facility or an increased limit. This will be subject to the normal affordability checks.
You can read more about this on the FCA website here.
I'm worried about my pension
Many pension savers are dependent on stock market investments.
The important point to note here is, do not panic.
Volatility (ups and downs) is normal for financial markets. In general terms, the longer you are invested, the greater the chance of you generating long-term returns.
We strongly recommend you take independent expert advice before making any decisions around your pension. Further sources of information are available on the nidirect website.
I need additional support
For practical local advice, we recommend contacting your local council in the first instance. You find their contact details here.
You can read more about what the UK Government is doing here.