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Income hit households can apply for StepChange Covid Payment Plan

Written by: Emma Lunn
People who have experienced a temporary reduced income due to the pandemic can make reduced payments on their borrowing for up to a year.

The Covid Payment Plan from StepChange gives people time to get back on their feet and resume full payments once their financial situation has improved.

People have been able to register their interest and undertake an initial eligibility check for the past few weeks. But from today it’s possible to complete the entire application, approval and registration process, and get the new plan set up.

The first payments under the new plans will be taken and distributed to creditors in January. There are no set up or administration fees, so every penny that people pay goes to their creditors.

StepChange says the new plan is designed for the unique circumstances presented by the coronavirus pandemic – but there are also many other options and solutions available for people facing debt and financial difficulty and it’s important to determine the most appropriate option for individual circumstances.

The Covid Payment Plan is very much aimed at people who expect their difficulties to be short-lived, recognising that many people face a great deal of uncertainty about their future income in the wake of the pandemic.

If people enter into the Covid Payment Plan but their situation doesn’t improve as hoped, they will be able to change to a different, longer-term form of solution.

Phil Andrew, CEO at StepChange, said: “All debt advice charities are gearing up for a big increase in the number of people who are going to need help with debt that has built up due to the pandemic. While the new Covid Payment Plan won’t be right for everyone, it will specifically help those people who have a number of financial commitments but just need a bit of time to get back to normal payments.

“What everyone should know is that if you’re facing debt problems you don’t need to try to cope alone. Reputable debt advice charities will help you, free of charge. Even if this plan isn’t the right approach for you, various alternative solutions are available that may be suitable, depending on your circumstances.”

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