Loans – Support and Guidance
Bank of Ireland is committed to supporting its customers through this pandemic and want to reassure you that we’re here to help and will do all we can to support you.
If you’re struggling with your finances due to the coronavirus crisis, we can talk about your current circumstances and what support we can offer you. Information on the support available to you can be found in our FAQs below or please call us on 0345 600 2703 if you applied for your loan online/since November 2019.
Alternatively, if you applied for your loan either in branch or via the phone prior to November 2019 please call us on 0800 917 0926.
Please refer to our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for further information or call us on the relevant number above and we can talk to you about your current situation and what support we can offer you based on your individual circumstances.
If you applied for a Bank of Ireland UK loan before 5 November 2019 please click here. These loans were provided by NIIB Group Limited trading as Northridge Finance.
Further help and support
If you’re worried that you’re struggling with your finances you can obtain free, confidential and impartial debt advice from organisations such as Moneyhelper, StepChange Debt Charity and Citizens Advice. An easy way to find an organisation which can help is to use the Moneyhelper Debt Advice Locator Tool.
Additional information you may find useful can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) information page ‘Dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic’ and the “Moneyhelper Money Navigator Tool” which can help you create an action plan based on your individual circumstances.
You should also be aware that StepChange offer a Covid Payment Plan which allows you to make reduced payments towards your monthly financial commitments for up to a maximum of 12 months. If you would like to find out more information about this and whether you’re eligible to apply click here.
- Q1. What is a payment break?
In 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued guidance which set out how firms should help customers who are financially impacted by coronavirus. In line with this guidance, one of the options that was available to customers was a payment break, which allowed customers to skip some of their normal monthly repayments and then make the missed payments at the end of the original term of the agreement.
Following the FCA Guidance, as of 31 July 2021, Payment Breaks will no longer be available to Personal Loans customers.
Note: The FAQs in this section relate to a payment break granted under this Financial Conduct Authority guidance.
- Q2. Can I apply for a payment break?
In-line with the FCA guidance, we are unable to offer you a payment break at this time.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties please contact us on 0345 600 2703 if you applied for your loan online/since November 2019.
Alternatively, if you applied for your loan either in branch or via the phone prior to November 2019 please call us on 0800 917 0926 and we can discuss your individual circumstances and the options available to you.
It’s important we understand your financial circumstances, so we may ask you to complete an income and expenditure assessment. To make sure this is as accurate as possible you should have information about your incomings and outgoings to hand when you call us. You should be able to find a lot of the information we need on your latest bank statement, for example how much your mortgage/rent payments and electricity bill are. You should also think about other things you may have to pay from time to time such as school uniforms.
- Q3. I previously had a payment break, will this have any impact on my credit file?
Normally if you miss any of the monthly repayments to your loan this would show on your credit file held by Credit Reference Agencies. If you were granted a payment break under the FCA guidance this won’t be the case and there is no impact to your credit file.
- Q4. Will my loan account be in 'arrears' if I take a payment break?
No, if you previously had taken a coronavirus payment break you would not be in arrears as long as you made your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when your payment break ended.
- Q5. Why did you send me a Notice of Sum in Arrears letter?
Although your account may not be in arrears as a result of you taking a payment break, we’re legally required under the Consumer Credit Act (Section 86B) to send you a ‘Notice of Sum in Arrears’ if there’s a shortfall of no less than the sum of the last two payments you’re required to make. These will continue to be issued, as per Consumer Credit Act requirements, on a 6 monthly basis until the end of your agreement or you clear the shortfall. No action is required by you, as long as you make your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when your payment break ends. If, however, you haven’t made any of your contractual monthly repayments you’ll need to take immediate action. We’ll send you an explanatory letter/email along with the Notice of Sums In Arrears which will tell you what you need to do, if anything, so it’s important you read this carefully.
No action is required by you, as long as you make your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when your payment break ends.
- Q6. What about fraud – how can I protect myself?
Fraudsters are exploiting the pandemic to facilitate various types of fraud and cybercrime. To protect you from these threats please continue to be vigilant with phishing emails received or emails with attachments that may contain malware.
- Q7. Where can I get further help and support?
If you’re worried that you’re struggling with your finances you can obtain free, confidential and impartial debt advice from organisations such as Moneyhelper
, StepChange Debt Charity
and Citizens Advice
. An easy way to find an organisation which can help is to use the Moneyhelper Debt Advice Locator Tool