With an increasing number of people’s financial situations and income being affected by COVID-19, we’ve put together some help and advice for anyone concerned about their debts or other financial commitments.
As always, your personal health and wellbeing should be your first priority. There’s plenty of advice already out there but if you believe you have symptoms or could have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should follow the official guidelines from the NHS.
You can also find the latest government guidelines on what you need to do during the outbreak by clicking here. The most recent update has advised that you should only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work.
What we’re doing here
At Amigo Loans, we appreciate that a lot of people are experiencing difficulty at this time. So, we just want to say that we’re in this with you.
Our focus is always on helping everyone as best we can and we have a strong team of people working hard to do just that. If you have any concerns at all about your next payment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll do what we can to help. If you need us, we have your back.
We review each situation on a case-by-case basis. This means we can make sure any arrangements we put in place are tailored personally to you and are in your own best interests. This way we can have you covered until things pick up again.
If you need to contact us, you can find our details here.
Concerned about your debts and financial commitments?
Whether it’s your bank or a credit card provider, businesses will be aware of the current situation and should have facilities in place to help. If you’re concerned you’re not going to be able to maintain regular payments towards your debts or creditors, the first thing to do is contact these companies directly.
Off work due to Coronavirus?
If you’re required to take time off work and are employed or self-employed, The Money Advice Service has put together some useful information covering your rights and what you’re entitled to receive. This is the best place to go if you’re unsure where any recent time off has left you.
The government has announced they will pay employees’ wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This will pay 80% of retained workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month, will be backdated to 1st March 2020, and it’s hoped the first payments will be made in April. You can find more information on this and other government provided support by clicking here.
A similar scheme has also been set up for Self-Employed earners, and you can find more information on this by clicking here.
The government has introduced changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for anyone required to self-isolate or take time off. During the crisis, SSP will be paid from the first day of illness rather than the fourth, and you’ll also be able to claim SSP if you’re caring for anyone in your household that has been told to self-isolate.
SSP is £94.25 a week and can be paid up to 28 weeks. To be eligible for SSP you need to earn at least £118 a week. However, if you’re not eligible for SSP you can instead claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.
How is Coronavirus affecting benefits?
If you receive Universal Credit, you’ll usually need to meet certain requirements to remain eligible. This can include job searching or attending regular meetings. However, due to the pandemic, all requirements for in-person meetings are suspended and you can complete these meetings over the phone instead.
The government has also confirmed that if you’re receiving any disability benefits you’ll no longer need to attend face-to-face meetings for the next three months. Similarly, if you’re applying for these benefits, you won’t need to complete a face-to-face assessment.
Seek financial help as soon as possible
If you’re concerned that your debts are mounting up and you’re unable to repay them, we’d always suggest seeking independent help from a debt-advice charity such as StepChange.
They provide a free, impartial and confidential service and they have years of experience helping people in similar positions.