Debt advice: Coronavirus lockdown frequently asked questions answered – follow these steps

Debt advice: Coronavirus lockdown frequently asked questions answered – follow these steps

Debt has likely been piling up for thousands of families over the last few months. In an effort to keep themselves afloat, people have been taking advantage of the various support schemes offered by Rishi Sunak and the wider government.

This may become a problem in the long-term, especially as the government has detailed that while support measures have been extended for now, they cannot carry on forever.

Debt and monetary support services such as Citizens Advice have detailed that this worry has taken centre stage in recent weeks as queries concerning debt help have skyrocketed.

PayPlan is another one of said organisations and they have recently collated the most frequently asked questions their advisers have seen on these issues.

A spokesperson for the company went on to also provide answers and advice for the questions raised.

The first of which being a common and straightforward question:

I’m in debt – what help can I get right now?

Thankfully, it was detailed that there are options for those worried about this: “Whether you were struggling before Coronavirus, or your situation has changed due to the lockdown, there really are options available right now.

“People who are worried about their finances can still seek help at this time, in fact, we would encourage them to do so sooner rather than later.

“We’re speaking to so many people who can’t afford their payments right now but are expecting their situation to improve.

Getting free advice can bring peace of mind about your debt situation and entering into a managed debt solution can stop interest and charges from being placed on an account. So many people tell us they wish they had just picked up the phone sooner.

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The next question is one that is as old as time:

How can I maximise my income?

People across the world, in multiple contexts, will constantly feel that they simply don’t have enough money or income to cover their bills.

It’s a primary reason why people get into debt in the first place but thankfully these days, at least in the UK, there are support systems in place to top up income where needed: “We always encourage people who get in touch to check that they are claiming everything that they are entitled to.

“You can use PayPlan’s free online benefits checker, which has been updated in line with the latest changes that have taken place in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“To help people to quickly and easily check they are receiving every penny of support available to them, we recommend people have a look at a price comparison site, like GoCompare. This helps people to see where they can save money on things like utilities, broadband, mobile and TV to cushion any income reduction.”

An example of support can include the aforementioned payment holidays.

These entirely new schemes can be utilised by most people who need financial assistance but that

doesn’t mean they’re always the right step to take:

I’m able to make payments, but should I take a holiday anyway?

As hard as it can seem, keeping on top of payments should be prioritised if they can be: “If you can afford your commitments, then the best advice is to keep making payments, even at reduced levels. This will help you to avoid further financial impact further down the line.

“If you can’t make payments then you should call a debt advice provider, or the organisations that you usually pay.

“The whole world is in this together and organisations will be sympathetic and remove barriers for you so that you can reduce or suspend payments.

For those have fewer options, PayPlan detailed that there are still routes to explore elsewhere:

Things are a little tight right now, how can I look after my financial wellbeing?

As they concluded: “Whether you or someone in your household has been financially affected by lockdown, there are steps that you can take to look after your financial wellbeing, like completing a monthly budget, saving on bills and subscriptions, and knowing which debts you should be paying off first.

“PayPlan have put together some quick guides on financial wellbeing to help people during this time.”

Published at Sat, 20 Jun 2020 03:00:00 +0000