1.5 million payment holidays approved on credit cards and personal loans

People facing temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus have been granted almost 1.5 million payment holidays by lenders on their credit cards and personal loans, new UK Finance figures have revealed.

The banking body also stated that as of 21 May, 877,800 customer accounts had been given a payment freeze on their credit card, an increase of 26% since the start of the month.

UK Finance members have provided almost 608,000 payment holidays on personal loans – up by 30% since the start of the month – to provide financial relief to customers affected by the pandemic.

As well as payment holidays, lenders have been offering the option of three months of interest-free borrowing on the first £500 of arranged overdrafts for more than 27 million customer accounts. Should customers need to use this facility, UK Finance suggested any overdraft interest would be waived during the three-month period.

The trade association had also revealed last week that lenders have approved 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays so far, meaning that the banking and finance industry has taken “decisive action” across more than 30 million customer accounts – from interest-free overdrafts to credit card payment holidays – to help borrowers get through the COVID-19 crisis.

UK Finance CEO, Stephen Jones, commented: “The banking and finance industry has put a clear plan in place to help Britain through these tough times.

“Lenders have now put in place support across over 30 million customer accounts, from the option of interest-free overdrafts to payment holidays for credit cards, personal loans and mortgages.

“Banks and building societies will continue to help their customers get through the crisis and have a wide range of support available. Anyone with concerns about their financial situation should check with their lender to discuss which form of support would be the best choice for them.”

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