The last few months have been challenging for all of us but here at Future Finance we remain committed to backing the next generation during this period of uncertainty. If your finances have been affected by COVID-19 and you are struggling to make your usual monthly payment, you should consider requesting a payment holiday.
What is a Covid-19 payment holiday?
If you have been impacted by the exceptional circumstances caused by Covid-19 pandemic, are eligible for one and your application is accepted, you won’t need to make the contractual monthly repayments for up to three months and your account will not be considered to be in arrears during the period of the Covid-19 payment holiday. A Covid-19 payment holiday can be granted for a maximum of six months (i.e. 2 x 3 months period). Interest will continue to accrue on your account during the Covid-19 payment holiday period.
A Covid-19 payment holiday is a temporary arrangement and is not a solution to long term financial difficulties. You should contact us if your circumstances are long term to discuss other forms of forbearance.
Who can apply for a payment holiday?
Covid-19 payment holidays are available whether you are graduated and making full repayments on your loan or still at university (and paying more than £5) and your loan is up to date.
You can apply if you have not been granted a Covid payment holiday before or have been granted one for a period less than 6 months in total. If you have been granted two Covid-19 payment holidays, we will not approve a third request this will not be in your best interest. Covid-19 payment holidays are temporary arrangements designed to help customers during the exceptional circumstances caused by Covid-19. If this applies to you and you are still experiencing financial difficulties as a result of Covid-19, please contact us and we will work with you to put in place other forbearance arrangements based on your circumstances.
When are we unable to approve a payment holiday request?
We will not approve a payment holiday in the following circumstances:
- You are still in study and your monthly repayment is £5;
- You are still in study and receiving loan disbursements;
- Your account is in arrears at the date of your application for reasons unrelated to Covid-19;
- We reasonably determine it is obviously not in your best interest to grant a Covid payment holiday. For example, if we as a result of your payment history consider that your circumstances is likely to require more long term support;
- We are already offering you other forbearance support;
- You apply for a Covid-19 payment holiday for payments due in a period after 31 July 2021.
You should still contact us to discuss your account even if you think you may not be approved for a payment holiday and are struggling to make your payments due to circumstances caused by Covid-19.
Will a payment holiday affect my credit file?
If we have agreed to a payment holiday request, we will not report your loan as being in arrears or in an arrangement to credit reference agencies. It is important to note that lenders use a variety of tools to assess credit applications (for example bank statements). We therefore cannot guarantee that taking a payment holiday will not have an impact on your future ability to obtain credit.
What happens at the end of the payment holiday?
At the end of the payment holiday, we hope you will be in a position to resume your normal repayments. It is in your interest to do so if you can, as you may have to pay back more later due to interest accrual on your account.
We will contact you near the end of the payment holiday to inform you, review your circumstances and inform you of your new monthly repayment. If you are still struggling financially after a Covid-19 payment holidays, we will work with you to support you. This may involve granting an additional Covid-19 payment holiday (if you have not already been approved for a maximum 2) or putting in place a forbearance arrangement based on your circumstances.
How do I apply for a payment holiday?
To apply for a payment holiday, please complete this short online form for your first payment holiday or this form for an extension to your existing payment holiday. Remember, do not cancel or reduce payments until we have agreed to your request for a payment holiday. It is critical to get in contact with our Customer Service team prior to any missed payments. We are here to support you and will look to provide help where we can.
A payment holiday cannot be arranged by our customer service team via phone or email. Customers can only request the benefit by completing the online form. T&Cs apply.
Is there independent support available?
Yes, the Financial Conduct Authority have produced free and impartial advice for customers experiencing a change in circumstances due to Covid-19. There is also advice and budgeting tools available on the Money Advice Service coronavirus support website. We encourage you to access the support that best suits your circumstances.
We want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to support and assist both students and customers as the impact of COVID-19 continues. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch and let us know how we can further support you.
The Future Finance Team