Consumer – Financial support & other resources
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.
Banks and Financial Providers
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.
- A payment break on loans of up to six 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.
- Dilosk/ICS Mortgages
- Start Mortgages
- Mars Capital
- Haven Mortgages Limited
- Finance Ireland Credit Solutions DAC
- AvantCard DAC
- BMW Financial Services (Ireland)
- Future Finance
- Seniors Money Mortgages (Ireland)
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.
AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are now offering payment breaks for mortgages up to six 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.
During the COVID-19 emergency period a number of measures were put in place to protect people affected by the pandemic. The original emergency period lasted three months and was extended twice. The ban on eviction notices and rent increases ended on 1 August 2020 and has been replaced with new rental laws that protect tenants that have been affected by COVID-19, who have fallen into rent arrears and are in danger of losing their accommodation. These rules are in place until 10 January 2021. The Residential Tenancies Board has published a helpful summary of the new rental laws.
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 have 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.
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 COVID-19 situation. You can find useful information here.
Mobile Phones and Broadband
During this time of social distancing and cocooning we are using our phones and broadband more to keep in contact with our family and friends and also to help keep us occupied. The Commission for Communications Regulations has announced that a number of phone and broadband providers have agreed arrangements to help their customers during COVID-19.
If your current package is now not enough for you to stay connected with your family and friends, or you are worried that you will not be able to pay your phone or broadband bill, you should contact your provider and discuss your options.
The following is a list of providers who have agreed to help their customers during COVID-19:
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.
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 finance information||Centralbank.ie|
|For financial education resources for students||MoneyMatters.ccpc.ie|
|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|
Last updated on 21 December 2020