Consumer – Financial support & other resources

Guide to personal finance supports

COVID-19 has resulted in individuals, families and businesses having to face significant financial challenges. To help ease this burden, Government departments and a number of financial institutions are now offering a range of financial supports.

Measures introduced by a number of banks and other financial providers:

Banks

For consumers whose income has been affected by COVID-19, Ireland’s main retail banks have coordinated their response in providing a range of supports and flexible finance arrangements. AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank have introduced a number of measures to support customers and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

These include:

  • A payment break on loans of up to three months for businesses and personal customers
  • A simplified application process to apply for support
  • A solution to ensure that an application for a payment break as a result of COVID-19 will not affect your credit record
  • Deferral of court proceedings for three months

Other financial providers (credit servicing firms, mortgage lenders, retail credit firms, home reversion firms)

Other financial providers have also put in place measures to help support their customers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Click on the links below to find out more. This list will be updated as and when additional providers announce specific measures. The range of financial products that these providers offer includes mortgages, credit cards, hire purchase, PCPs, student loans and equity release.

The first and most important step if you are in any financial difficulty is to contact your provider directly (whether or not they are listed above) to talk through what options are available to you.

Mortgage Repayments:

AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are now offering payment breaks for mortgages up to three months.  If you have been affected by COVID-19 and are concerned about making your regular mortgage repayments, you should contact your bank directly to discuss the options available to you.

It’s also important to know that mortgage payment breaks are also being offered to landlords with buy-to-let mortgages, whose tenants have been impacted by COVID-19.

Rental Payments:

A number of measures are now in place to help tenants such as a freeze on notices to leave rental accommodation and a freeze on rent increases for the duration of COVID-19.  If you are facing difficulties in paying your rent, contact your landlord as quickly as possible to discuss the options available to you.

For more information and the latest updates visit citizensinformation.ie.

Personal Loans and Credit:

Flexible finance arrangements such as payment breaks are being offered on personal loans and credit (credit cards, overdrafts, hire purchase, PCPs). If, due to the COVID-19 situation, you are struggling to make your repayments and you wish to avail of a payment break, contact your bank or financial provider as soon as possible to discuss your options.

For more information and the latest updates, visit Gov.ie. 

Credit Union Loans:

If you have concerns about meeting your loan repayments to a credit union, the two credit union representative bodies, Irish League of Credit Unions and the Credit Unions Development Association has advised members to contact their credit union as soon as possible. Each credit union makes decisions at local level so you need to contact them directly for more information in relation to your particular case.

Please be aware of the following:
If you apply and get a payment break/interest only repayments on your mortgage or loan it will cost you more money in interest. When your circumstances change and you revert to repaying your mortgage or loan in full, your monthly repayments will be increased to cover the payment break. There are some examples of how much it could cost you on the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland website – under the heading “How does a payment break operate”?

If your bank is offering interest only payments, and you can afford to do this,  it will cost you less as you will not have to repay as much money.

Utility Payments:

If you are concerned about being able to pay your electricity or gas bills, you should contact your utility provider directly to discuss the options available to you. The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities has announced customer protection measures in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak. You can find useful information here.

Income Supports:

Special Income Supports and Rent Supplements are also available if you find yourself struggling to meet your regular payments. Further information can be found on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website.

Other Resources

The following organisations and websites can also provide you with further information.

Consumer Information – Quick Links
For general information on COVID-19 Gov.ie
For advice on travel restrictions DFA.ie
Information on your rights when you buy a package holiday ccpc.ie
For information on your flight rights and entitlements Flightrights.ie
For travel insurance information Contact relevant travel insurer for T&Cs
For private health insurance information Contact your health insurance provider to check what your policy will cover
For European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) information HSE.ie
For more information about your rights when you buy online ccpc.ie
Advice on consumer rights when shopping with traders based in the EU/EEA ECC Ireland

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