Forum Replies Created
It’s going to be a scary time for loads of people in the upcoming months – but you’re right, younger people are probably going to be affected more, as they’re more likely to have lost casual work, summer jobs, and not be able to make rent (especially students, too, who have no work, no studies, and can’t access benefits).
Saving is a massive part of protecting your future, but it’s so hard to do when you’re already on a reduced income. Marc’s already pointed you to the making money section, which has loads of tips! My biggest suggestion is to start now, rather than wait any longer. Things like online surveys only pay small amounts each time, but it quickly adds up – and as you’re furloughed, you’ve got more time than usual to spend on ways to make money online like this!
Keep an eye out for our upcoming savings series – but if anyone else has good ideas for how they plan to protect their finances in the coming months, tell us here!
At least you can cancel your halls – that’s a start!
If you’re not getting any online tuition at all, that’ll affect your long-term learning on the course, too. Exams might get pushed back next year, all sorts. I think you’re in a strong position to fight a partial refund of fees if you’re not receiving any tuition. We’ll look into this further and get back to you soon!
I think alcohol is seen as a kind of essential in a way – if enjoying a cold beer in your sunny garden helps your mental wellbeing, it’s an important part of your lockdown life! I think we’d see riots if they banned alcohol altogether though – Brits are somewhat renowned for our enjoyment of the stuff…!
I think this is the frustration a lot of us are facing! Without a definite ‘end date’ of the lockdown, we can’t make plans very far into the future.
The best thing to do is to stay in touch with whoever has your money – the closer you get to the date of the thing you’ve booked, the pushier you can get about arranging a refund or postponement.
You can work while you’re getting Universal Credit, you just need to report your income to them. You’re allowed to earn up to a certain amount (it depends on your personal circumstances as to how much – you can ask your Job Coach for exact figures by asking a question in your Journal) before you start losing some of your UC payment. When you reach that limit, you lose 63p off your UC for every £1 extra you’ve earned.
If you’re struggling to meet rent, you could also seek additional help from your local authority to receive a Discretionary Housing Payment that tops up the housing element of UC to help you meet your rent. I hope that helps!
An update: just announced, the Govt has officially extended Statutory Sick Pay for all those who have been advised by letter from the Govt to shield for 12 weeks:
So, Jules, you can now at least get SSP for the full 12 weeks! Hope this helps 🙂
My partner just got back from popping to the shop for fun food (we all need chocolate and snacks to keep us happy at the moment!) – the cashier said: “That’s not really an essential shop, is it?”
If you get this response from anyone at all, just remember to answer: “If the shop sells it, it’s essential, and I can buy it.”
(And perhaps tell them to keep their nose out of your basket, too!).
The FCA is not only still operating but has been responsible for putting pressure on the banks for many of the recent changes, such as the interest-free £500 overdrafts, and payment freezes on personal loans, during the coronavirus crisis.
Was your question related to anything in particular about the FCA, their role, or their recent activity?
What a pain! They don’t have to give you a refund yet, unfortunately. They can offer a new course date for you to take – and only if you can’t make the new date can you request a refund. As you paid on your debit card, unfortunately there’s little payment protection or way to claim that back from your bank (unlike with a credit card provider, who is jointly liable for any purchase over £100).
It is likely they will try to keep hold of all prepaid courses and reschedule them, rather than offer refunds – especially if they’re a new business. If they do go into administration, you’re able to register as a creditor owed money (but you may not get your full money back).
Sorry I don’t have better news for you right now – keep trying with the emails, and phone calls, and maybe see if they have a social media channel that you can try, too. The squeaky wheel gets oiled!
Sorry to hear your employer is being difficult. They’re obliged to follow health and safety guidance – which includes protecting you from the virus if you’ve been identified as a vulnerable person. However, they don’t have to pay you sick pay (as you’re not sick).
You can – and should – ask them to furlough you, instead. If they refuse, you may have grounds on a discrimination case if your chronic condition (which has led to the Govt advising you to shield) is considered a disability. This means it must have a long-term impact on your daily living – which , for most people advised to shield, is the case.
Let us know how you get on!
At the moment, the venue can stick to the contract – if you cancel the wedding yourself, you’re breaching the contract and can’t get a refund. If the venue decides to cancel it closer to the time – because venues must still be closed and weddings still banned – you have to get a refund.
At the moment, it’s an annoying case of ‘wait and see’. Have you got wedding insurance? If so, they should be able to cover lost deposits etc if your suppliers have to pull out of the wedding if it goes ahead on 20th June. If the venue are still being tricky about it when you know they have to be closed on the wedding date, you can also get your wedding insurance company to step in. If you paid your deposit on a credit card, your card provider is jointly liable too – so you can always try to claim the money back from them, instead. There’s an article about coronavirus wedding cancellations here, which might be helpful!
@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.
As universities continue to provide lectures and exams online, this year’s tuition fees won’t be refunded. The same goes for many halls of residence rents, too – you’ll need to check with your uni for specific guidance on that. Some are offering reduced rent or no rent, but it’s all up to each individual institution as to what they want to do about it.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait until closer to the date of the return flights to see what the options are. If the airline cancels the flight, you’re entitled to a full refund. However, if the flight runs, you’ll need to cancel and take the hit on the administration fees. Your travel insurance may not cover a pandemic, but it’s also worth talking to them if you came home specifically on FCO advice (such as the understanding you would not be able to return home on your anticipated date because of closed borders).
Keep an eye on the FCO recommendations around travel – and also that of Australia, as that’ll affect your rights, too.
The FCA’s latest guidelines are that the first £500 of an overdraft should be interest-free for now. Some systems won’t have caught up with this, and you may have accidentally been charged. However, if you went into an overdraft and didn’t have one agreed with the bank beforehand, they can charge you for that. The same goes for if you go over £500 (or, if your agreed limit was say £350 and you went over that) – you’re still going to get charged interest on the amounts above the limit.
Definitely give your bank a call to see if they can refund the charges!