STRUGGLING households should contact their bank for help if they've been hit financially by the coronavirus crisis.
From mortgage holidays, to £350 interest-free overdrafts, we've rounded up what the major lenders are doing to help their customers.
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Overdrafts: The lender has waived all interest on arranged overdrafts until the end of April 2020.
Barclays said this would happen automatically, meaning customers shouldn’t need to contact the bank.
It doesn’t allow unarranged overdrafts.
After the end of April, customers are charged a single interest rate of 35 per cent for using their overdraft.
Credit cards and loans: Barclaycard customers won't be charged late payment or cash advance fees until June 17, 2020.
The bank is also giving customers the option to apply for a temporary increase on their credit card limit.
The bank isn't offering a payment holiday for credit card users.
Barclays usually charges £12 each time you make a late payment, miss a payment or pay less than your minimum amount.
Barclays' Platinum credit card offers 0 per cent on purchases for 27 months and a representative APR of 21.9 per cent after this.
Barclays isn't offering a payment holiday for customers who are paying back a loan, but the bank says it's working on this.
Personal loans with the bank are charged 5.5 per cent representative APR for amounts between £7,500 and £15,000, paid back over two to five years.
Mortgages: Barclays customers can apply for a three-month payment holiday on their mortgage.
They can also switch mortgages from repayment to interest-only.
The bank will decide who qualifies for the extra help on a case-by-case basis.
You can apply online.
Should you take a payment holiday?
PAYMENT holidays are offered in extreme circumstances and are designed as an emergency measure to help you through a difficult financial time.
If you think you need to take one, you should speak to your lender to discuss your options – but be aware that the break in payments doesn’t remove any debt or financial obigations.
Most lenders will also still charge interest during this time, so be aware that these costs will keep building up.
You should also always continue to make your normal payments if you’re financially able to.
If you do decide to take a payment holiday, it shouldn’t appear on your credit file.
Sue Anderson, head of media at StepChange, said: “If you can continue to make your normal payments without difficulty, then you should.
“Any temporary measures being offered by lenders don’t remove financial obligations – they are designed as an emergency measure to help you get through a period where your income may have taken a serious knock.
“However, if you need to use them then you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your lenders.
“While taking a payment break would usually be noted on your credit file, the credit reference agencies have confirmed that, during the current crisis, this should not have a future influence on your credit status.”
Overdrafts: The bank can waive overdraft fees and review interest rates for some customers, but this will be decided on an individual basis.
Contact the bank to discuss your options.
From April 4, Co-op bank will charge a flat 35.9 per cent for using your arranged and unarranged overdraft.
It's also removing all unarranged overdraft charges, waivers and buffers.
Credit cards and loans: Credit card customers can apply for limit increases, breathing space and also a review of the interest rates on their account.
Customers should contact us Co-op for more information.
Co-bank charges £10 for missed payments and exceeding your limit on its three-year fixed rate credit card.
This card has a representative APR rate of 18.3 per cent.
The bank says help for customers paying back a loan will be decided case-by-case.
It advises customers to get in touch if they're worried about their finances.
Co-op loans range from 3.1 per cent to 39.9 per cent APR.
Mortgages: Co-op Bank says it can offer mortgage customers a three-month payment break.
You can find more information on how to apply online.
The lender doesn't apply penalties for missed payments.
Overdrafts: Halifax customers can get a £300 interest-free overdraft from April 6 until July 6.
From April 6, arranged overdraft charges with the bank are set to rise to 39.9 per cent, meaning you'll pay this if you go above the £300 buffer.
This change is automatic, so you won't need to apply with Halifax to get it.
Credit cards and loans: The lender has announced it won't charge for missed payments on credit cards and loans.
Customers can also apply for payment breaks on both these products.
The bank is currently working on its application process for both of these.
The credit card payment holiday application should be live on the website later today, while the loan payment break is expected to be available to apply for from April 9.
If you have a Halifax 0 per cent purchase and balance transfer card, the representative APR on this product is 19.9 per cent after the first 20 months.
For loans, the bank charges 3.5 per cent APR representative on amounts between £7,500 and £25,000 over one to five years.
Mortgages: The bank is offering payment holidays to borrowers if they're struggling financially.
You'll need to request this online.
Halifax can also reduce payments and waive missed payment fees.
Halifax charges £35 for falling into arrears on your mortgage.
Overdrafts: HSBC started offering a temporary £300 interest-free overdraft from March 27.
Anything over this amount is charged otherwise 39.9 per cent.
The interest-free buffer was previously £25.
It applies to all account holders so you don't need to contact the bank.
Customers can also ask for their overdraft limit to be extended.
Credit cards and loans: Credit card and loan customers can apply for a three-month holiday period on their repayments with HSBC.
There's also the option of a temporary increase in credit card limits.
HSBC's purchase plus credit card charges 0 per cent interest for the first 18 months, with a representative APR of 22.9 per cent after this.
The bank usually charges £12 for missed payments.
Meanwhile, a typical £10,000 loan from the bank, paid back over 36 months, has a representative APR of 3.3 per cent.
Mortgages: HSBC is offering three-month mortgage holidays to customers who need it, as well as reduced payments.
There’s also an option to extend the remaining term of the mortgage, switch rates or switch part or all to interest-only mortgage arrangements.
Overdrafts: Lloyds has automatically applied a £300 overdraft buffer if you have an existing arranged overdraft on your current account.
This buffer will be interest-free from April 6 to July 6 2020.
Customers can also apply to increase their overdraft limit, or apply for a new overdraft if they don't already have one.
Find out more information here.
From April 6, anything over this £300 buffer is charged at 39.9 per cent.
Credit cards and loans: The bank is allowing customers to apply for an increase on their credit card limit, as well as a three-month break from payments.
Lloyds says the application process for this should be live later today.
Loan borrowers can also apply for a three-month payment holiday.
This should be live on the Lloyds website on April 6.
Lloyds has a 0 per cent transfer card with no fees for 20 months, and a representative APR of 19.9 per cent after this.
Loans have a representative APR of 3.9 per cent on amounts between £7,500 and £25,000 over one to five years.
Mortgages: Mortgage customers can apply for a three-month mortgage holiday on the Lloyds website now.
Overdrafts: Customers can apply for an interest holiday on your arranged overdraft – this won't be given out automatically.
If you apply for an interest holiday it will start on 20 April, or when the bank processes your application.
Nationwide charges 39.9 per cent for use of an arranged overdraft.
Credit cards and loans: Three-month payment holidays on loans and credit cards are being offered to customers who need it.
Rather than pausing payments completely, customers' payments will be reduced to £1 per month, for three months.
You can apply online here.
Nationwide's Members credit card has a representative APR of 19.9 per cent, with charges of up to £25 for late payments.
For loans, a £10,000 borrowing amount over 60 months has a representative APR of 2.9 per cent.
Mortgages: Nationwide customers can apply for a three-month mortgage break, as well as the option to switch your current deal or change the length of your term.
Overdrafts: NatWest is freezing overdraft rates for three months at 19.89 per cent.
It had been due to double to 39.49 per cent by April 2.
The bank has also removed all overdraft fees, including its £2.75 charge for unpaid items.
The changes have taken place automatically, so you don't need to apply.
Credit cards and loans: Credit card repayments can be paused for up to three months.
Customers can also apply for refunds on credit card cash advance fees, as well as an increased temporary credit card limit.
The NatWest transfer balance credit card charges 0 per cent interest for the first 20 months, with a 19.9 per cent representative APR after that.
NatWest loan customers can also ask for a three-month break on repayments.
Loans come with a representative APR of 3.4 per cent on amounts between £7,500 and £19,950.
Mortgages: The lender is allowing customers to apply for a mortgage break for three months.
Find out more and apply using the NatWest website.
Overdrafts: Santander customers can get a £350 interest-free overdraft for three months from April 6 if they already have an agreed overdraft.
From April 6, going over this buffer is charged at 39.9 per cent. This change will be automatic.
Customers can also apply to increase their overdraft limit or apply for a new overdraft if they don't already have one.
Credit cards and loans: Santander has automatically removed fees for late payments and cash advances on all its credit cards until 6 July.
The bank hasn't announced credit card or loan holidays, but you should contact Santander directly if you're worried about meeting repayments.
The Santander All in One card charges o per cent on purchases for 26 months, and then a representative APR of 21.7 per cent after this.
Customers are charged £12 for late payments.
Personal loans of between £7,500 and £15,000, borrowed over 60 months, have a represenative APR of 3.0 per cent.
Mortgages: If you have a mortgage with Santander, you can apply for a payment holiday of up to three months. You'll need to apply for this online.
Overdrafts: Tesco Bank hasn't announced any changes to its overdraft service.
It charges a single rate of 18.9 per cent interest on arranged overdrafts.
Credit cards and loans: The lender is offering a payment break of up to two months for credit card and loan customers.
You'll need to apply online and the bank will decide who gets extra support.
The bank's Purchases Credit Card offers a 0 per cent rate for up to 22 months and a representative APR of 19.9 per cent after this.
Its lowest loan rate of 2.9 per cent APR representative is available on loans from £7,500 to £25,000 over one to three years.
Mortgages: You can apply for a one-month mortgage payment break with Tesco Bank, but only if you've already made six consecutive payments.
Find out more online.
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