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COVID-19: We have answered some of our customer's most frequently asked questions. Read more

Friendly clear advice and total peace of mind.

Coronavirus facts: FAQs about your money

Please note, this information is based on the most up-to-date details we have. Although we will update this regularly, the fast-changing nature of the coronavirus outbreak means we cannot guarantee this is correct.

This page was last updated on 30 March 2020 – 3:35pm

  1. How will the coronavirus affect my mortgage?
  2. How will the coronavirus affect my rent?
  3. What can I do if I can afford my Car Finance / Lease payments?
  4. What are the courts doing about court fines and CCJs?
  5. What are my work rights following coronavirus?
  6. Where can I get help with heating or energy costs?

How will the coronavirus affect my mortgage?


If you’re a homeowner affected by the coronavirus, and aren’t already in arrears, you should be eligible for a three-month relief period.

This means mortgage payments will be deferred by up to three months.

During this period, you won’t need to pay anything but interest will still accumulate which will be added to the total cost.

To apply, call your mortgage provider. The process differs from lender to lender but should be straightforward. Furthermore:

  • This shouldn’t affect your credit rating.
  • The payment holiday won’t write off the payments. Your original mortgage expiry date will be extended by three months to cover this break.

If your mortgage is in arrears, call your lender and they should be able to identify a solution. Some providers are offering short-term assistance, such as allowing reduced payments or waiving the charges for missed payments.

Call your lender and see what help they can provide. Most are being pretty flexible during this crisis however it’s worth noting that it isn’t compulsory for mortgage providers to offer this.

Note: To take a mortgage holiday, you must also have this agreed with your lender and can not just stop making the payments – doing so could cause you to have late payments marked on your credit score, and is likely to affect your credit score.

How lenders are helping:

Lender Waiving fees for missed payments?Offering reduced payments?Offering mortgage holidays?Impact of mortgage holiday?How much notice should I give?How to apply for a mortgage holiday?
Bank of ScotlandYesYesYesIncreased monthly payments2-3 daysOnline
BarclaysN/A – Barclays does not charge for late paymentsSpeak to lenderYesLonger mortgage term4 daysPhone
Coventry BSSpeak to lenderYesYesFlexible Urgent cases prioritisedPhone
HalifaxYesYesYesIncreased monthly payments2-3 daysOnline
HSBCSpeak to lenderYesYesSpeak to lenderUnclearPhone
LandmarkTBCTBCTBCTBCTBCPhone
LloydsYesYesYesIncreased monthly payments2-3 daysOnline
NationwideSpeak to lenderSpeak to lenderYesIncreased monthly payments5-7 daysOnline
NatWestSpeak to lenderSpeak to lenderYesIncreased monthly payments5-7 daysPhone
NRAMSpeak to lenderSpeak to lenderYesIncreased monthly paymentsApprox 10 daysPhone
RBSSpeak to lenderSpeak to lenderYesIncreased monthly paymentsUnclearPhone
SantanderSpeak to lenderYesYesIncreased monthly paymentsApprox 10 daysOnline

To help, we have also created a template which you can fill out and send to your mortgage provider informing them you have been affected by the coronavirus. Or, if you’re not comfortable doing this, fill out the form and send it to us. We will send this form on your behalf.

Download template here

How will the coronavirus affect my rent?


If you’re struggling to pay rent, you should speak to your landlord or estate agent as soon as possible to work out a repayment plan with them.

The government announced on the 20th March they are increasing universal credit and housing benefits so that the local housing allowance could cover at least 30% of the market rents in your area. Consequently, it’s worth checking you’re receiving all the financial help you’re entitled to.

Private landlords have also now been granted a three-month payment break on buy-to-let mortgages if their tenants are struggling so speak to your landlord if you need help.

Additional laws have been put in place whereby landlords will need to give three months’ notice before starting eviction proceedings. Beyond these three months you will be expected to come to some agreement with your landlord to try and resolve any rent arrears. This doesn’t cover any eviction notices which had already commenced before the 25th March.

The Residential Landlords Association, and other related trade bodies, has recommended that tenants affected by the coronavirus are treated “sympathetically”.

Although you’ll have to repay rent eventually, you might be able to negotiate delayed or reduced payments until the crisis is resolved.

If you’re a council tenant, further information is available on the GOV website: https://www.gov.uk/council-housing/types-of-tenancy

What can I do if I can afford my Car Finance / Lease payments?


If you find that you are struggling with your repayments due to the Coronavirus, then you need to contact them as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

During the crisis a lot of companies are being extremely understanding so it’s important that you contact them and do not just stop making payments. Most companies will now have policies in place to help deal with customers in this situation. This could include:

  • Offering a 3-month payment break on your account – by extending the original end date of your agreement.
  • Extend the cost of the contract to lower your monthly payments.

What are the courts doing about court fines and CCJs?


Unfortunately, no assistance is currently available for court fines or county court judgement fees. If you have been affected by the coronavirus, these charges will need to be paid as normal.

What are my work rights following coronavirus?


If your work hours have been cut or you’ve been forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus, you may be entitled to a variety of benefits.

For more information, please consult the Acas website: https://www.acas.org.uk/

Can I claim statutory sick pay?

If you’re staying at home on government advice, due to being affected by the coronavirus, then you will be entitled to statutory sick pay from day one of being off work.

You will need to inform your employer as soon as possible, who will put this claim in for you.

If you’re self-employed, you won’t be entitled to statutory sick pay. However, you may be eligible for ESA (Employment and Support Allowance).

Visit for how to claim: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-claim-form

What if I can’t work, or have no work to do?

The government has introduced a scheme to subsidise 80% of your salary for up to £2,500 a month. This must be agreed with your employer, where you will agree to be put on what’s officially called ‘Furlough’. This means that your job will be placed on hold if there is no work available, or you’ve had to take time off for childcare. Once the crisis is over, your position will resume as normal.

The scheme is expected to be in place by the end of April, with any payments being backdated to the 1st March 2020. There is no guarantee for Furlough to be offered and this is at your employer’s discretion.

What will happen to tax credits or working tax credits?

If you’re already claiming benefits such as tax credits or housing benefit, and you’re off sick due to coronavirus, Citizens Advice has advised that you may be entitled to additional funds to make up for the loss of earnings.

Unfortunately, no further information has been released surrounding this yet. We will update this when more details are announced.

Can I claim employment and support allowance?

If you’re not currently claiming benefits, you may be entitled to claim employment and support allowance as the government is making some changes to this benefit in light of the coronavirus crisis.

More information on this will be added when it becomes available.

You can claim here: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/how-to-claim

Can I claim universal credit?

If you’re not eligible for statutory sick pay because your earnings are too low – or because you’re self-employed – you might be able to claim new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re ill, or elements of universal credit if you need help with costs such as children or housing.

The typical seven-day waiting time for new claimants has been removed for those who are suffering from coronavirus or required to stay at home.

You can also receive up to a month’s advance payment upfront without attending a face-to-face meeting.

From the 1st April, the government has also announced that they have lifted the minimum income and increased the standard allowance.

New universal credit standard allowance:

Your CircumstancesMonthly Standard Allowance
Single and under 25£342.72
Single and over 25£409.89
In a couple and you're both under 25£488.59
In a couple and either of you are 25 or over£594.04

The biggest change to universal credit is the housing element. Housing element of universal credit can be used to help cover your rent, the interest charged on your mortgage, or any service charges you may pay.

You can claim here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

Where can I get help with heating or energy costs?


Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed to provide help to vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re struggling to pay bills due to the coronavirus, you should receive additional support and no meter disconnections will take place.

This support could include:

  • Automatic funds added to meters.
  • Bills being reassessed and payments paused or reduced.
  • Credit being sent in the post to prevent customers from going out to top up.

Contact your energy supplier and they’ll be able to confirm what measures they’re implementing during this time.

Here’s what prepay energy providers have committed to so far;

SupplierWhat can it do?How to get help (1)
British GasHave not yet committed to sending out top-up cards or keys loaded with credit however if you're currently in isolation and you think you'll use up your balance and emergency credit, contact British Gas who should be to find a solution. Further FAQs for British Gas customers.Call 0333 202 9802
BulbBulb says it can post top-up cards or keys loaded with credit to your home which can be ordered online. They've also advised people who are self-isolating to ask someone you trust to help top up. Call 0300 303 0635
Co-op Energy Co-op has not yet released any advise. Call 0800 093 7547
EDFHave said that they can post top-up cards or keys loaded with credit to your home if required. EDF have also advised people who are currently self-isolating, to ask friends and family to help you top up but where this is not possible, they can deliver 'preloaded' cards and keys – the balance will then be collected back at an agreed rate later on. See more of their FAQs.Call 0333 200 5100
E EnergyE Energy are yet to release any advise. Call 0333 103 9575
E.onE.on says it can post top-up cards or keys loaded with credit to your home or send an engineer to top up your meter if you're credit faills below 50p and you're currently unable to leave the home. They have also advised to consider topping up a little extra or asking a trusted person to help in order to prepare for self-isolation. Read more FAQs.Call 0345 052 0000
Green Network EnergyGreen Network Energy is yet to release any advise.Call 0800 520 0202
Green Star Energy Green Star Energy has not yet released any advise.Call 0800 012 4510
NpowerNpower has said that they are looking at increasing emergency credit to £45 to help those currently self-isolating. They have also advised to help topping up more than usual in advance, or if you need a top up and can't leave the house then ask a truster person to help. Further FAQs.Call 0800 073 3000
Omni EnergyOmni Energy are advising customers to top uo more than usual in advance and build up credit on the meter. They've also advised where customers are self-isolating to ask a family member or friend to help, and where not possible they can offer emergency credit to maintain supply. 
However, it says it's not needed. It advises those who can top in advance and build up credit on the meter, or ask a family member or friend to take their key or card to the shop for you. It also says it has emergency credit to maintain supply.
Call 0113 457 3219
Ovo (2)Ovo is advising people to ask friends, family or neighbours to top up for you – and also provided advise to disinfect your card before handing it to anyone else. It's also set up a dedicated team to help those in danger of losing supply. More FAQsCall 0330 102 7517
Robin Hood Energy (3)Hasn't yet committed to sending out top-up cards or keys loaded with credit and are advising customer to pre-load more than usual during this time. They are looking at alternative solutions, but are yet to release what those are. Call 0800 030 4567
Scottish Power Scottish Power has only advised people who need to self-isolate to ask a friend, neighbour or family member to top up for, and to add more credit to your meter than normal and are not currently offering any other support - but this may change. Call 0800 027 0072
SSESSE are advising customers to try and keep at least 14 days' worth of credit on their meter, and have also said that they can help by reducing any debt repayments people are making through the meter. See more FAQs.Call 0345 026 2658
UtilitaUtilita's have advised their main focus is smart prepayment, which allows people to top up remotely. If you've a non-smart meter, it advises to top up more than usual or ask a friend or family member to help. Call 0345 207 2000
Utility WarehouseUtility Warehouse are advising customers to top up more than usual in advance and build up credit on the meter so that there is at least 2 weeks on the meter. They've also advised where customers are self-isolating to ask a family member or friend to help.Call 0333 777 3247

There’s also help for customers that are on a standard meter, most importantly customers will not be cut off during this crisis as all disconnections have been suspended. Providers are also prepared to offer solutions to customers that are currently in arrears, which can include debt repayments being paused or reduced.

Here’s what we know so far:

SupplierDelay bill due datesRemove late payment chargesAllow repayment over longer periodsReassess monthly paymentOffer alternative ways to payHow to get help
British GasYesYesSee FAQ or call 0333 202 9802
BulbYesYesSee FAQs or call 0300 303 0635
Co-op Energy (1)Hasn't committed to any specific measures, but will offer help on a case-by-case basisSee its statement or call 0808 164 1088
EDFYesYesYesSee FAQs or call 0333 200 5100
E.onYesYesSee FAQs or call 0345 052 0000
NpowerYesYesYesSee FAQs or call 0800 073 3000
Octopus Energy Hasn't committed to any specific measures, but will offer help on a case-by-case basisSee its statement or call 0808 164 1088
Ovo EnergyHasn't committed to any specific measures, but will offer help on a case-by-case basisSee FAQs or call 0330 303 5063
Scottish PowerYesYesYesSee FAQs or call 0800 027 0072
Shell EnergyYesYesSee FAQs or call 0330 094 5800
Small suppliersThough some have committed to things such as not increasing direct debit payments or offering more flexibile payments, most suppliers haven't committed to any specific measures, but will offer help on a case-by-case basis.See supplier contact details
SSE Hasn't committed to any specific measures, but will offer help on case-by-case basisSee FAQs or call 0345 070 7373
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