1 million credit card payment deferrals provided during pandemic

Lenders have now provided over one million payment deferrals on credit cards to help customers whose finances have been affected by COVID-19 over the past three months, new UK Finance figures have revealed.

The banking body’s members have also provided almost 707,000 payment deferrals on personal loans for customers impacted by the pandemic.

Figures also showed that more than 27 million customer accounts have been offered three months of interest-free borrowing on the first £500 of their arranged overdrafts if needed.

UK Finance suggested the support for consumer credit borrowers forms part of a clear plan by the industry and the FCA to help the UK through the crisis. This includes granting 1.9 million mortgage payment deferrals, increasing the contactless limit to £45 and providing £46bn of lending to more than 1.1 million businesses through government COVID-19 lending schemes.

UK Finance managing director of personal finance, Eric Leenders, commented: “Many borrowers facing financial pressures are taking up the measures being offered by lenders to help them get through this crisis.

“The banking and finance industry has a clear plan to help the country through these tough times and is committed to providing ongoing support to those customers who need it.”

The trade body also noted that customers who have been granted payment deferrals will be contacted by their credit card providers before the end of the three-month period to plan their next steps, and that those yet to request a payment deferral for an arranged interest-free overdraft of up to £500 will have until 31 October to apply for one.

“Each customer will face a unique set of circumstances,” Leenders added. "But no matter what your situation, if you are facing temporary financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic there will be support still available to help you through these challenging times.”

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