Financial help during the Coronavirus if you live in Scotland

The UK is experiencing a period of uncertainty that is affecting either the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of everyone. We all should be following Government guidelines to stay at home but what financial support can you get if you live in Scotland?

What should I do if I can’t pay my bills?

If you are struggling to pay your bills, then the first thing you should do is to seek advice. If you let your finances get in a worse shape, you could find this has a detrimental effect to you in the future.

If you cannot pay your utility bills then, again, you should call up your provider(s) and ask for a payment break to help you cope now. Some energy providers can help by offering breathing space from payments whereas others can give you credit to keep your home running during the lockdown period. It may be wise to compare your bills and see if you can save money elsewhere or turn down your heating at home as the weather improves.

What should I do if I can’t pay my mortgage?

If you cannot pay your mortgage, speak to your lender immediately. You may be able to reduce your monthly repayments to a more manageable amount, but this will need to be agreed by both parties.

There may also be a possibility to extend the term of your mortgage or pay interest-only and make up the capital at a later date. You may have to pay an arrangement fee to make any changes, and you will also need to demonstrate the ability to pay off your mortgage long-term.

PayPlan will be happy to offer further support and you can call us for free on:

  • 0800 316 1833 if you’re not already in a plan with us
  • 0800 197 7211 if you are currently in a Trust Deed with us
  • 0800 316 7155 if you are currently in a DMP with us

What should I do if I can’t pay back a loan?

The Government has said that creditors should be accommodating and offer payment holidays to lenders to help them get their finances back on track. You may be able to take advantage of interest-free overdraft options from selected banks too. If you have borrowed from a major bank or building society then you should be able to take a break – just speak to them to find out more.

If you have borrowed from a payday loan company or a loan shark, you should contact them to find out how you will be affected during the Coronavirus and whether they have any policies in place. If you find that your finances are stretched, speak to a PayPlan adviser for support.

What will happen to my credit score during the Coronavirus?

If you agree on a payment holiday with your lender then this will be classed as an ‘authorised payment break’ and won’t impact your credit score. However, if you refuse to pay back your bills without agreement from the lender then your credit score will be negatively affected.

What financial help can I get now?

If you are unemployed or on a low income, you should be able to claim benefits to try and support your day-to-day life. Universal Credit is available and can be applied for on the GOV.UK website.

If you are employed, you will either be on your regular hours and salary, or find that you have been furloughed, with a maximum 20% reduction of your monthly wage. If you have been furloughed then you should not be working until you are paid your full salary again. If you left your employer and are currently without work, you may be able to ask your previous company to take you back on, on furlough pay, but this isn’t guaranteed.

If you are self-employed then Statutory Sick Pay will be available to you and if you cannot work due to ill health or self-isolation, there will be ESA Employment and Support Allowance on offer.

What should I do if I can no longer make payments into my Trust Deed?

If you are in a Trust Deed arranged by PayPlan Scotland and can no longer keep up with the monthly repayments, you should seek advice immediately to assess your options.

Call your PayPlan Scotland Case Officer between Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm on 0800 197 7211 to discuss your Trust Deed. We’d advise you act as soon as possible to keep your plan on track after the uncertainty of the Coronavirus has passed.

Should I borrow money during Coronavirus?

If you are struggling to keep up with your bills, you may be wondering whether borrowing money during Coronavirus is the best option. PayPlan has put together a guide to help you see what borrowing options are available to you and how to approach lending in these uncertain times.

Need to know more?

We have a dedicated page of FAQs to try and help answer some of your questions. If you need to speak to an adviser about your plan, call us on 0800 316 1833 – please be aware that waiting times may be affected during the Coronavirus but a member of the PayPlan team will do their best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Concerned about the effect of Coronavirus on your finances? Use our online debt tool to find out your options