Support for customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers should contact us if they need assistance but we have already put the following arrangements in place.

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, this may include, subject to eligibility, a further payment break. Please call us on:
 
Bank of Ireland UK Loans 0345 600 2703
PO Loans 0800 169 2000 Frequently Asked Questions
AA Loans 0345 266 0124 Frequently Asked Questions
 
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 Money Advice Service, StepChange Debt Charity and Citizens Advice.

Additional information you may find useful can be found on the FCA information page ‘Dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic’ and the Money Advice Service “How to prioritise your debts” page. The Money Advice Service also has a “Money Navigator Tool” which can help you create an action plan based on your individual circumstances.

FAQs

  • Q1. I’ve been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic - are you able to help me?
    Bank of Ireland UK is committed to supporting customers through this pandemic and want to reassure you that we’re here to help and will do all we can to support you.
     
    We understand that coronavirus is impacting our customers in many different ways, so have a number of options available to help you if you find you’re struggling with your finances. You can find more details below.
     
    If you are experiencing financial difficulties please contact us on 0345 600 2703 and we can discuss your individual circumstances and the options available to you.
  • Q2. What is a payment break?
    The Financial Conduct Authority issued guidance which sets out how we should help any of our customers who are financially impacted by coronavirus. In line with this guidance, one of the options we have available is a payment break which means you can skip some of your (up to a maximum of 6 months payments) normal monthly repayments and then make the missed payments at the end of the original term of your agreement.
     
    Note: The FAQs in this section relate to a payment break granted under this Financial Conduct Authority guidance.

  • Q3. Can I apply for a payment break?
    The guidance issued by the Financial Conduct Authority allowed for customers to apply for initial payment deferrals up until 31 March 2021. Further payment deferrals are only available after this date if:

    1. You are currently in a payment deferral period and you have reached your scheduled date to resume repayments. For example if you requested an initial payment deferral in January 2021 with payments scheduled to resume in May 2021, then provided request is received prior to the May resumption date, a further payment deferral may be considered; AND
    2. You have not yet availed of the maximum period of 6 months (cumulative) payment deferrals. Please note that as per FCA Guidance, the last date that a payment deferral can be in force is 31 July 2021.

    If you’re not eligible to apply for a payment break, don’t worry, we’re still here to support you if you need it. See Question 9.

  • Q4. How do I apply for a further payment break?

    To apply for a further payment break by calling us on 0345 600 2703.

    Before applying for a further payment break you should think carefully about whether you really need it. Bear in mind that if you can afford to make your monthly repayments it will always be in your best interests to do so. As the payments you miss will be added to the end of your loan the duration of your agreement will be extended by a period equal to the total length of the payment breaks taken you should also think about whether you’ll be able to afford the repayments over a longer period than you originally applied for.

  • Q5. Will taking a payment break 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’re granted a payment break under the Financial Conduct Authority guidance this won’t be the case.
     
    You should bear in mind though, that lenders may take information from other sources into account when making lending decisions, such as from your bank account, where they will be able to see changes to your regular payments, or other information you provide about your payment break. This could mean you find it more difficult to get additional credit if you apply for it.
  • Q6. What will happen when my payment break is coming to an end?
    We’ll send you a reminder before your payment break ends which will tell you the amount of your contractual monthly repayments and when they’re due to restart. If you’re able to start making your full repayments again and they’re affordable, it would be in your best interests to do so. If you’re continuing to experience financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus and are still struggling with making payments, you should contact us on 0345 600 2703 as soon as possible so that we can look at the range of options we have available and agree the best way forward to suit your circumstances.
  • Q7. Will my loan account be in arrears if I take a payment break?
    No, taking a coronavirus payment break won’t mean you’re in arrears as long as you make your contractual monthly repayments as they become due when it ends.
  • Q8. 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.

  • Q9. I’m not eligible to apply for a payment break – what other options are available to me?
    If you’re not eligible to apply for a payment break but find you’re still struggling with your finances, please contact us on 0345 600 2703. Some examples of potential options we could offer you based on your current situation are:

    • A reduction in your monthly repayments for a length of time which suits your current situation
    • We can consider giving you breathing space to give you time to engage with a debt advisor to work out how you are going to deal with your debt and create a budget. See below for more information.

    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.

    You should be aware that if you need to take any of these options, it’ll show on your credit file held by Credit Reference Agencies so you may find it more difficult to get credit if you apply for it, or it may be more expensive.

  • Q10. What about fraud – how can I protect myself?
    Fraudsters are exploiting the pandemic to facilitate various types of fraud and cybercrime. To protect yourself from these threats please continue to be vigilant with phishing emails received or emails with attachments that may contain malware.
  • Q11. 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 Money Advice Service, StepChange Debt Charity and Citizens Advice.
     
    Additional information you may find useful can be found on the FCA information page ‘Dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic’ and the Money Advice Service “How to prioritise your debts” page. The Money Advice Service also has a “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’ .