What to do when your coronavirus credit card payment holiday has ended

If you took out a credit card payment holiday because of the coronavirus outbreak and its now come to an end, it’s a good idea to understand what happens next, and what option are available to you if you’re still going to struggle to make repayments.

What happens when your payment holiday is over?

Your repayments will automatically start again once your payment holiday has ended. So it’s important to know what date your repayments will start again.

Any interest payments built up over this period will be added to your outstanding balance, so your monthly minimum payments on your credit card will go up.

Your lender will tell you how much in your first statement after your payment holiday ends.

If you can afford to make your payments again, you don’t need to do anything as they will restart automatically.

If you’re still experiencing financial difficulties because of the coronavirus outbreak, you might still be able to apply for a payment holiday, also known as a payment deferral, under certain conditions.

What options might your lender consider?

Payment holiday

If you’re still experiencing financial difficulties because of the coronavirus outbreak, you might still be able to apply for a payment holiday, also known as a payment deferral, under certain conditions.

If you’ve not taken any holidays on your card payments yet, you can apply for a payment holiday of up to six months in total. However, you should continue to make payments if you can afford to.

If you’ve already taken a payment holiday, this can be extended up to a maximum of six months. However, it’s in your best interests to start your repayment s again if you can afford to.

The deadline to apply for a payment holiday has been extended to 31 March 2021.

If you have already taken the full six-month payment holiday, you cannot apply for a further holiday.

Changing your payment due date

If it will benefit you, your lender can change you payment due date. For example, to just after you get paid.

Reducing interest rates on your credit card

Reducing the interest rate on your credit card might make your repayments more manageable, or reduce the rate at which your outstanding balance is increasing.

However, you will still need to be able to pay off at least the minimum amount each month.

Putting together a realistic payment plan

If your finances have been badly affected by the coronavirus outbreak, your lender might put together a different repayment plan.

This might include a combination of things to make your repayments more manageable.

Lenders are required to work with you to work out a repayment plan based on your circumstances.

Impact of further support on your credit file

If your lender does offer you further support once your payment holiday ends, this will be recorded on your credit file. This could mean that you may find it more difficult to borrow money in the future.

Make sure you’ve claimed everything you’re entitled to

Check out our Coronavirus support hub to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to.

Make an emergency budget

If you’re worried about cashflow, have a look at what you’re spending and what income you have coming in.

Our Budget planner will help you do this

Look at how to cut your household bills, such as switching providers for your gas, electricity or mobile phone contracts.

Our My Money section has useful tips.
Find out how tosave money and increase income to help you catch up with your payments on the StepChange website.

Next steps if you have missed a payment

If you have missed a payment contact your lender to explain your situation. You should avoid taking out more credit unless you know you can afford to pay it back.

These guides can help you with how to talk to your lender:

What to do if you can’t afford your credit card bill on the StepChange website.
If you’re struggling with credit card debt on the Citizens Advice website.

When to get debt advice

If you’ve already missed payments and are not able to come to an agreement with your lender, it’s best to get advice as soon you can, especially if you’ve got other debts as well.

See our guide on how to prioritise your debts to help you work out which ones to pay off first.
Find out more on the StepChange website about how debts are collected when you are in arrears.
Citizens Advice have more information about how to make a plan to pay your debtsopens in new window.
Find free confidential debt advice online, over the phone or near to where you live using our debt advice locator tool.

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