The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed a package of temporary measures to provide financial relief with some of the most commonly used consumer credit products, and support consumers in other parts of the credit market in the future, including in the motor finance sector next week
The measures put in place are designed to provide people affected with payment difficulties with short-term financial support through during the coronavirus pandemic, including; credit cards, loans and overdrafts, and those facing temporary financial difficulties because of the pandemic.
The measures include firms being expected to:
- offer a temporary payment freeze on loans and credit cards for up to three months, for consumers negatively impacted by coronavirus
- allow customers who are negatively impacted by coronavirus and who already have an arranged overdraft on their main personal current account, up to £500 charged at zero interest for three months
- make sure that all overdraft customers are no worse off on price when compared to the prices they were charged before the recent overdraft pricing changes came into force
- ensure consumers using any of these temporary payment freeze measures will not have their credit file affected
These measures won’t replace normal forbearance rules where these would be more suitable for a consumer in serious and immediate financial difficulty. Consumers in financial difficulty should contact the Money Advice Service (MAS) for further guidance. Consumers should check websites or social media posts for more information, and where possible use online services to request assistance as call centres are experiencing a high demand in calls due to the current pandemic situation.
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