April 11, 2020 at 10:34 #150645KieraParticipant
I have more than one credit card and I was late paying the last month on both because I lost my job and had to wait for my benefits. The card companies charged interest but I thought you could have a holiday? Should I not have been charged?April 11, 2020 at 10:45 #150652PaulParticipant
I had something similar happen to me and was wondering the same.April 11, 2020 at 11:08 #150663Annie ThorpeKeymaster
Hi Kiera and Paul,
You need to agree the payment freeze with your credit card company first. Delaying or not paying without that agreement will hurt your credit score, and means you’ll be charged interest, too.
It’s a really confusing time at the moment, so it’s worth giving your provider a call now to see if they’ll let you freeze payments. They might also refund any interest or charges on your late payment if you ask nicely, too! There’s no guarantee, but most providers are being understanding about the confusion of it all lately.
The most important thing is that you need to get the freeze agreed in writing. They’ll write to you to tell you when it starts and ends, and if they are charging interest during that time. They’re allowed to charge ‘reasonable interest’ while your payments are frozen, so be aware of that as it will roll up into your next bill that you do pay!
This article might help, too 🙂April 11, 2020 at 14:44 #150678JulesParticipant
Can you get the interest stopped too? It seems that if you delay the payment but have inrest charged anyway then you have to pay a lot more when the holiday is done but how will you know if you have enough money to pay for the extra interest as well as the payment?April 12, 2020 at 15:07 #150685Sam SmithParticipant
Hi guys, I’ve just asked a similar question about mortgages and payment holidays in another thread.April 12, 2020 at 19:43 #150698HannahParticipant
Is there a similar option to a credit card freeze but with paying utility bills? Worried I won’t be able to afford to pay them upfront over the next few weeks.April 13, 2020 at 14:07 #150722Annie ThorpeKeymaster
@Jules – if you’re in severe financial crisis, you CAN ask for the interest to be frozen, too. Banks are drawing a harder line on this at the moment (otherwise everyone would do it and they’d not earn any money at all!). However, if you need to do this, and your credit card provider/bank aren’t being useful, get Stepchange or the National Debtline on board. They’re charities offering a free advocacy service – they’ll help you get your interest frozen, as well as help you set up repayment plans later on, if you need.
@Hannah – you can contact your utility company to ask for a deferred payment if you’re in severe crisis right now. You could also ask to reduce your monthly direct debit (so that you’re paying SOMETHING towards the bill now) and create a repayment plan with them, if you prefer. If you’re on a pre-payment meter, your supply WON’T be cut off even if you go beyond the debt amount on the meter – the Govt has confirmed this with all suppliers. The same *should* apply to all supplies on a direct debit system, too – if you’re struggling, talk to your provider. There are also funds like the EON Hardship Fund which may help you pay something towards your bill (or write off bill debt altogether) if you’re in dire straits.April 17, 2020 at 09:08 #150818HannahParticipant
Thank you for your help again! I’ll speak to my providers and see if I can pay something towards the bills.
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