For customers impacted by COVID-19 – Payment Breaks
If as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, you have been financially impacted and you need help then we are here to listen and find the right solution for your circumstances. To help us do that, we ask that you complete our online request via your MyFinance account. If you have already submitted a form, please rest assured that we are working on it and will be in touch shortly.
We encourage you to ensure that you have utilised any government support and assistance available to you. The government’s website can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
There is useful guidance about employment, financial support and money including:
- If you are unable to work, for example if someone in your household is ill
- If you are on furlough
- If you have lost your job
- If you are self-employed and your work has reduced or you have no work
- If you are on benefits
There is also specific information for business and self-employed people which details support available including potential loans, grants and tax relief.
If you are not in financial difficulty but worried that you might be in the future, or want to understand more, we'd encourage you to review our guidance information about strategies and organisations that may be able to help.
If you’re a private customer and have an agreement with us which is regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 then you can ask us to give you a payment break of 3 months. This means that you won’t have to pay your finance payments for 3 months. You will have to pay any service charges (which include Just Add Fuel® and Citroen SimplyDrive® or DS SimplyDrive® payments as these are arrangements with third parties and don’t form part of your finance arrangement). To enable you to have a payment break, we’ll need to extend the contract term by 3 months, this is so that your payments don’t increase materially after the payment break ends.
If your next payment is due within 7 days of making the request to us the payment break may be applied from the following month; or if you’ve missed recent payments then we’ll apply it to the arrears. It only applies to your normal finance monthly payments (not additional payments or service charges).
Taking a payment break won’t affect your credit file for the period of the payment break. However, interest will continue to apply during this period, meaning you pay a higher amount in the longer term.
This option may not be right for everyone as you may end up paying more over a longer term, therefore we ask that you consider carefully whether you want to request this payment break.
- only do so if you need immediate and temporary financial assistance
- if you can afford to make your repayments, you should do so
- please don’t cancel payments until you’ve contacted us
This is intended to help you through a short period of financial difficulty and again should only be used if you cannot afford to make payments. After the payment break is over, you will be expected to continue to make your monthly payments. If you are not able to do so, you must contact us to consider options. Please also see information about other organisations who may help which is detailed below.
We will only offer you payment breaks of up to three months relating to financial difficulties under COVID-19. If you’ve already had a payment break and you are concerned that you cannot return to paying normally then please see information below.
I have had a 3 months payment break for COVID-19 and I can’t return to normal payments – what should I do?
Don’t ignore it, make contact with us through the online form.
If you have already had a 3 months payment break then our expectation is that you will return to paying the amounts on the dates set out in our correspondence and agreement with you. If cannot pay these amounts then we will ask you to complete our online form to explain your circumstances. Please note, that we will not be offering additional payment breaks as standard. If additional assistance is required then we’ll need to consult with you to find the most appropriate solution based on the information you provide. It is likely that we will need evidence to understand your circumstances. If you want to request financial difficulty assistance then you can do so by completing our online form.
What evidence might I need to provide?
In order to assist with your enquiry we may need evidence to understand your financial circumstances in more detail the types of evidence we might ask for are as follows:
- Evidence that you have sought any government support available to you, for example, sick pay, universal credit, small business loans.
- If you have been furloughed and your income has reduced then evidence of your payslips and expenditure through bank account information.
- If you have lost your job then we need confirmation from your employer, evidence of your income and expenditure through bank account information and details of your unemployment claim.
The above list is not exhaustive and different evidence may be required depending on your circumstances and the reasons for your financial difficulties.
There may be other options that you wish to consider if you are not in financial difficulty but would like to manage things differently, for example if you wish to reduce the amount you pay each month. This could be achieved by changing the term of your contract or materially amending your mileage (a further explanation of these options are detailed below). If you want to request a change then you can do so by completing our online form [insert link]
Thinking things through
We would suggest to all our customers to think carefully about their financial circumstances and to take action as quickly as possible to prevent the situation worsening. We know that sometimes things can feel out of control but there are some simple things that you can do. We'd recommend to customers to use the fantastic Money Advice Service "Money Health Check". It's a completely free and independent tool to help you assess your finances and gives practical guidance and suggested solutions.
General Financial Difficulty Assistance
Helpful information and support details
At PSA Finance we understand that sometimes circumstances can change which can lead to financial difficulty. Please do not suffer in silence if this is the case with your PSA Finance agreement. If you are behind with payments and have received an arrears notice, please contact us and make us aware of your situation. We will then consider your individual case and discuss the options available to you.
As documented by the Financial Conduct Authority there are a number of things to consider if facing financial difficulty. Doing nothing can make the situation worse as the lender could take legal action against you meaning that you could end up paying more in interest and charges. Missed payments could also affect your credit rating making it difficult to get credit in future.
Work out how much money you owe
Firstly, you need to assess the situation, working out the amount of money you owe and who you owe it to. A debt advisor can help you make a list of all of the organisations that you owe money.
Contact the organisations that you owe money
Let them know you are having problems. They may be able to discuss alternative options for paying back what you owe.
Get free help and advice
Your rights and options depend on the type of agreement that you have, and the law can be very complex so it's best to get advice on this. You can get free, independent help and advice from a number of organisations. We have listed these below for you.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts are more urgent than others because the consequences of not paying them can be more severe. For example, mortgage, rent, council tax/rates, gas or electricity arrears could have implications on your house. A debt adviser can help you to work out a budget in order to keep your finances under control.
Think carefully before borrowing money to repay debts
Some people assume that the easiest option is to borrow more money but we'd strongly recommend getting free, independent advice before doing so. You will likely pay more in the long run and if you borrow against your home you risk losing your home.
You may be able to ask a court for more time to repay a debt
In some circumstances this is an option. Speak to a debt adviser before considering court action and be sure to keep copies of letters and emails in case these are needed by the court.
You can contact the following not-for-profit organisations for free, confidential and impartial debt advice, or for details of where to get advice in your local area.
Money Advice Service
For free, unbiased and easy-to-access money tools, information and advice
Telephone: 0800 138 7777
If you live in Scotland, please use the following details:
Telephone: 0141 572 0237
Member centres offer debt advice including specialist advice for minority communities and people with disabilities.
Telephone: 0300 777 0107
Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
For free debt advice in your home. Check your postcode coverage via the website.
Telephone: 0800 328 0006
For advice and information on debt and other topics.
You can find your local Citizens Advice using the search on the website.
Available to those living in England, Wales or Scotland for debt advice and information.
Telephone: 0808 808 4000
StepChange Debt Charity
For debt advice throughout the UK.
Telephone: 0800 138 1111
Civil Legal Advice
You may get legal aid if your home is at risk.
Telephone 0345 345 4345
If you have a complaint that you can’t resolve with your lender, the Financial Ombudsman Service may be able to help.
Telephone: 0300 123 9123 or 0800 023 4567