What is a payment holiday

If you are not able to make your monthly credit card payments due to coronavirus, you can apply for a 3 month credit card payment holiday.

  • You can reduce your monthly payments to £1 per month, for 3 months.
  • If you’ve already had 3 months of support and need longer, you can apply for a further 3 months (up to a total of 6 months).

When you’ll need to apply by

All payment holidays must end by 31 July 2021. If you decide a payment holiday is right for you, you need to apply by 31 March 2021.

However, if you’re newly affected by coronavirus, and you want to benefit from the full 6 months of available support, you should apply at least 7 working days before your February 2021 statement.

If you’ve already taken one 3 month payment holiday, you have until 31 March 2021 to apply for a second one.

After 31 March 2021, you can extend an existing payment holiday up until the 31 July 2021. This is as long as:

  • it doesn’t go over the 6-month payment holiday limit, and
  • there are no gaps in the support.

If you’ve already had 6 months of support, you can’t apply for another payment holiday.

Find out what you can do after your payment holiday ends


Who can apply?

You can apply for a credit card payment holiday if:


  • Your finances have been affected by coronavirus (for example, you can’t work due to self-isolation or new childcare responsibilities).
  • You are up to date with your monthly credit card payments.
  • The account is held in your name (you’re not an ‘additional’ cardholder).
  • You haven’t already had 6 months of payment support.

If you’re already behind on your credit card payments, please see our Money Worries page.


Your credit rating

Although a payment holiday won’t affect your credit rating, lenders may look at other information (for example, information provided by you, or bank account information) when they decide whether to lend to you in the future.

Future payments

It’s important to understand that interest will continue to build  at your usual interest rate during the holiday.

This means that the total amount of interest you’ll pay back will increase. As a result, your monthly minimum repayments at the end of your holiday will be higher.

How much your minimum repayments will be after the payment holiday will depend on:

  • your individual circumstances
  • the minimum repayment terms for the specific credit card product you hold with us
  • when your payment holiday starts.

Examples of payment increases

To give you an idea of how your payments may rise after taking 3 months off.


Example credit card balance Outstanding Balance £4000 at 15.9% per annum Outstanding Balance of £4000 at 19.9% per annum
Current minimum repayment £89.49 £100.96
New minimum repayment when payment holiday ends £92.78 £105.56
Increase in minimum repayment when payment holiday ends +£3.29 +£4.60

These examples:


  • Assume that no additional spending is carried out during the payment holiday period and that the total outstanding balance is interest bearing throughout (this means the rate of interest being charged is greater than 0%).
  • Won’t apply if you are on a promotional rate of interest (for example, you are still within your introductory period). Your interest rate is shown on your statement.
  • Examples are illustrative only and may depend on when your payment holiday starts.
  • Are based on a minimum repayment amount of 1%, plus interest. If you hold a Gold or Classic Card with us, your minimum repayment terms will vary.

The minimum repayment amounts will depend on your individual circumstances, as well as the minimum repayment terms for the specific credit card product you hold with us.


Before you apply

Things to consider before applying, to make sure a credit card payment holiday is right for you:

  • You will have to pay at least £1 a month for 3 months while on the plan.
  • If you have a Direct Debit set up to pay your monthly credit card bill, you must make sure it’s set up to only pay the Minimum Payment Amount, not a fixed or full amount.
  • Your reduced payment of £1 will begin on your first statement date after the plan is first set up.
  • During the plan, interest will be charged at your standard rate, and you’ll be able to use your account as normal.
  • The best time for you to take a payment holiday will depend on your personal situation.
  • At the end of the payment holiday, the minimum payment goes back to the percentage shown in your terms and conditions. The amount of the payment will always be shown on your statement.

Note:

If you're still able to make your repayments, even if it's just for the minimum amount, then you should continue to do so as it will take you longer to repay your balance and cost you more if you take a credit card payment break.


Applying for a credit card payment holiday

You'll need your 16-digit credit card number. You can find this on the front of your credit card.

What happens after I apply?

We’ll try to let you know whether we’ve accepted your application within 5 to 7 working days from when you apply. However, it may take longer to process your application.

Where we can, we’ll start your payment holiday from your next payment. However, if your next payment is due in the next few days, your payment plan might start the following month. We’ll let you know in writing when your 3 month period begins.

Note:

Please bear with us and avoid calling in to check on progress, or re-requesting your payment holiday. Rest assured, we have your application and you’ll hear from us soon.