COVID-19 update

We’re open and ready to help as we normally would. We’re taking precautions to ensure the safety of our staff, and have put measures in place that exceed the latest government guidelines. To find out what steps we're taking and how they might affect you, read our COVID-19 information page.

Coronavirus & your finances.

We’re here for you.

At MoneyPlus, we help people live better every day. We know that times can get tough, and we’re here to support you.

We’ve put together some information on what to do if you find yourself financially affected by the current coronavirus disruption, and how we may be able to help.

Because together, we can live better.

First things first.

Your health, and the health of those around you, is a top priority. If you find yourself affected by the coronavirus outbreak, either directly or indirectly, you must take steps to protect yourself and others, and always follow advice from the NHS.

Helpful advice, straight from the experts.

As the current situation unfolds, not knowing what is going to happen can be very stressful. Take a look at our advice below if you’re affected by the current coronavirus disruption.

Creditor help.

Below, you can find a list of help that is currently being offered by various creditors:

Homeowners. If you’re struggling to maintain regular mortgage payments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you can ask your mortgage lender to reduce or stop your payments for three months.

If you’re unable to continue your usual mortgage payments at the end of the three months, you may be able to extend your reduced agreement or payment holiday for a further three months, giving you a total of six months to get back on track.

To request a reduction or payment holiday, you will need to contact your mortgage provider by 31st October 2020, and they will help you find the best solution for your situation. They won’t apply any additional charges for granting you a payment holiday, and it will not affect your credit rating.

Unsecured loans. You may be eligible to receive a three-month payment break if your income/finances have been negatively impacted by coronavirus. Always speak with your lender before stopping or reducing your payments.

Savings. You may be able to have early access to ISAs or savings accounts in exceptional circumstances. Some creditors have lifted the fees for releasing funds early to those who urgently need the money.

Credit cards. Some creditors may allow you to increase your credit card overdraft limits, increase cash withdrawal limits and refund advance fees however, this could negatively impact your credit score, so be sure to use this only as a last resort.

Overdrafts. If you have an arranged overdraft, some providers may offer 3 months interest free on arranged overdrafts up to the value of £500. To find out what your bank or building society is doing check their website.

If your current arranged overdraft is below £500, you may be able to not pay any interest on the amount of your current overdraft limit. You could also ask your provider to increase your overdraft limit to £500, subject to checks on affordability.

Some councils are offering the option to take a payment holiday. To find out if you’re eligible, contact your local authority to find out what options are available. The financial regulator have announced that car finance borrowers should be offered up to a three-month repayment holiday. Firms don’t have to follow the measures, but the FCA says it expects them to, and adds that it can take enforcement action of they don’t treat customers fairly – Black Horse, the largest car finance firm and part of the Lloyds banking group, have already entered over 60,000 customers in to payment holidays.

Prioritising your outgoings.

If you’re worried that you may need to take time off work, or you’re already taking time off work and your income has been affected, it’s important to prioritise your outgoings and payments.

The government recently announced that it will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to £2,500 per month. These grants:

  • Are open to the vast majority of employers.
  • Are backdated from the beginning of March.
  • Will last at least three months.

If you’re self-employed, the Universal Credit minimum payment floor has been temporarily lifted. This means that those who are self-employed will be entitled to the same Universal Credit payments as those who are not self-employed.

Whilst this is a big help, you may find that 80% of your monthly salary or Universal Credit might not be enough to cover usual household bills and expenses, and with so many monthly outgoings, it can be a struggle to figure out which ones you should pay first.

We’ve listed below the priority bills for England, Wales and Scotland, so you know exactly where your priorities are.

For England & Wales

Debt What will happen if you don’t pay
Mortgage or secured loan Repossession and significant costs
Rent Eviction and significant costs
Council Tax Visit from bailiffs, wage deduction, benefits deduction, a debt secured against your home, bankruptcy or imprisonment (imprisonment doesn’t apply to Wales)
Child Maintenance Wage deduction, benefits deduction, visit from bailiffs, imprisonment
Magistrates Court Fines Visit from bailiffs, wage deduction, benefits deduction, imprisonment
Tax, VAT or National Insurance Visit from bailiffs, wage deduction, bankruptcy, County Court Judgement (CCJ)
County Court Judgement Visit from bailiffs, a charging order, wage deduction
TV licence A fine
Energy (gas and/or electricity) Disconnection of energy supply, benefits deduction
Hire purchase or logbook loan Repossession, County Court Judgement (CCJ)
Home phone or mobile phone Disconnection, County Court Judgement (CCJ)

For Scotland

Debt What will happen if you don’t pay
Mortgage or secured loan Repossession and significant costs
Rent Eviction and significant costs
Council Tax Assets removed from your property, money taken from your wage or bank account, bankruptcy, debts secured against your home
Child Maintenance Assets removed from your property, money taken from your wage or bank account, bankruptcy, debts secured against your home
Criminal fines Vehicle clamped or removed, money taken from your wage or bank account, benefits deduction, imprisonment
Tax, VAT or National Insurance Assets removed from your property, money taken from your bank account, bankruptcy, debt recovery through higher tax rate (PAYE tax code adjusted)
Decree Assets removed from your property, money taken from your wage or bank account, bankruptcy, debts secured against your home
TV licence A criminal fine
Energy (gas and/or electricity) Disconnection of energy supply, benefits deduction, decree
Hire purchase or logbook loan Repossession, decree
Home phone or mobile phone Disconnection, decree

Falling behind on your bill payments.

It’s important that you pay off your priority bills in full each month, as they can be quite difficult to reduce.

You may be able to arrange to have lower payments in place if you find yourself in financial difficulty. You can do this by speaking to your bank, lender or credit provider and explain to them that you’re in financial difficulties. If you’re seeking help from a debt advice organisation, let them know – most companies will give you between 30 to 60 days ‘breathing space’.

If you’re unable to keep on top of your priority bills due to too much debt, we may be able to help.

We offer expert debt advice, and can quickly and easily give you practical solutions that help you get your finances back on track.

By telling us about your finances and the debts you’re having problems with, we’ll build a plan to get you out of debt – a plan that’s right for you. We’ll then contact your creditors on your behalf, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

You can read more about the different types of debt solutions we offer here .

Experiencing a change in your physical health.

In any cases of a change in physical health, it’s important that you review your finances and make changes where necessary.

You may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay, which is £94.25 per week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks (you must earn up to £118 per week to qualify).

If you don’t qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, you may be eligible for Contributory Employment and support allowance, or Universal Credit.

Local Authorities are receiving an additional £500m for vulnerable people, and most of this is expected to be spent on council tax support schemes, so you may also be entitled to council tax or housing benefit.

Homeowners may be entitled to help from a government mortgage scheme.

Urgent help with money and food.

For emergency food supplies, you can access a local foodbank, which can provide you with a minimum of 3 days’ worth of emergency food to those in crisis. To be able to access a foodbank, you’ll first need to be referred by one of the following:

  • Jobcentre Plus
  • A social worker
  • Citizens Advice
  • Children’s centres
  • Local Authorities
  • Police or probation workers
  • GP’s or other medical professionals

You can get in touch with your local foodbank who can help arrange an appointment with one of the above services.

For emergency money, you may be eligible for your Local Authority’s Welfare Assistance Scheme, which is local funds distributed to people in crisis situations. These schemes are usually available to those on low incomes and are facing financial difficulty.

Depending on where you live in the UK, different emergency funding is available. You can get in touch with your local council/authority using the links below to find out what kind of financial support you’re eligible for.

If your income has been affected, you may be tempted to take out a loan. If you choose to do this, make sure you use a reputable lender, and always borrow money safely. It’s important that you continue to look after your physical, mental and financial health, and not borrow money from sources that could cause you to fall into debt.

Affected by school closures.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus, all schools have temporarily closed, and this may also have an impact on your finances.

If you’re having to take extra time off work to care for your children, you may find that your income reduces but your household bills increase, and this can be worrying.

If you’re a key worker (e.g. a healthcare professional or a food delivery worker), you can still send your children to school. However, if you have a partner who is not a key worker, they will need to take on childcare so you are able to continue working.

If you have a vulnerable child who has a social worker, you can still send your child to school, as well as any children who have special needs support.

If your child receives free school meals, your school kitchen may still be open and available to distribute these. If this isn’t the case for your area, the government has guidance on a voucher scheme to ensure that no little one goes hungry.

If your children need to stay home during the school closures, there are plenty of free resources available for them to keep entertained, such as these P.E lessons, or these free curriculum-mapped videos.

Many schools are offering online lessons, so you can get in touch with your local school to see what online services they’re offering.

When times get tough, we’re here to help.

If your household bills begin to increase and you’re struggling to pay them, you can always switch to a cheaper provider.

MoneyPlus Energy does things differently. We offer smart, simple energy packaged into affordable, everyday plans to suit every type of energy user.

Our energy bill shows you exactly what makes up the amount that you pay and, on average, our customers save over £500 each per year on their energy bills*.

If you want to see how much you could save on your energy bill, just head over to moneyplusenergy.com and get a quote!

Mental wellbeing.

If you’re feeling anxious about the impact of coronavirus on your finances, there are multiple organisations you can get in touch with that can offer you expert mental health support.

Click on the links below to find out more information.