The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on everyday life for many people, and the world of personal finance is no different. At such an uncertain time, if you’ve borrowed money, you’re probably wondering what your options are.
If you have a loan with us, or are considering applying, please be assured that we’re working closely with our panel of lenders to ensure any disruption to our service is minimal.
We have set out the below guidance in accordance with the government’s advice on the ongoing Coronavirus situation. Please read on to find out if you may be affected and what your next steps should be. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01709 518518 and we’ll do our best to help with your queries.
Information provided on this page may change regularly, so check back here for updates - this info was last updated on 23rd November 2020.
Existing loan and mortgage customers
If you currently hold a loan product brokered by Norton Finance, you probably have some questions about how the unprecedented pandemic measures may affect your borrowing.
Below, we take a look at the key affected areas and how we can help.
Payment deferrals for loans & mortgages
If you’re struggling to make repayments as a result of the ongoing situation surrounding Coronavirus, we can help. All our secured loan and mortgage lenders are currently allowing three-month payment deferrals for customers whose income has been affected by the COVID-19 situation. If your income has reduced or stopped completely, your lender can help by allowing you a payment break.
This "deferral period" will not impact your credit record whatsoever, nor will you be charged any fees. However, you’ll still incur interest charges and you may be asked to make up the missed payments when normal service resumes, either by adding the time onto the end of the repayment period or slightly increasing your usual repayments.
How do I request a payment deferral?
Just get in touch with your lender and explain your situation. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has instructed all lenders to be as reasonable as possible in helping their customers through this difficult time, including allowing payment deferrals.
It’s important to ensure you get approval from your lender before you stop regular payments. Otherwise they’ll see it as a missed payment period and follow regular procedure.
What happens if I miss a repayment?
We understand that you may find it difficult to make repayments if the COVID-19 crisis means you’re missing out on work, if you’re furloughed or self-employed, for example. That’s why it’s essential that you get in touch with your lender at the earliest opportunity to make arrangements, such as a payment deferral, to ensure you don’t fall behind.
Our lenders will do all they can to make sure your situation works for you, so you don’t need to worry about missing repayments. But if you simply don’t make a repayment you may be charged for non-payment. This will show up on your credit history and may make it more difficult to secure an affordable loan in the future.
Applying for a loan/mortgage
You may still be considering applying for a loan, but it’s important to think carefully in the present circumstances. You should make sure that you can afford to make repayments in light of your current situation. If you need to raise money to pay for things like bills and groceries, we suggest you get in touch with your energy supplier first.
Are lenders still lending?
Most of our lenders are still lending, but many have set more restricted lending criteria. While the ability to borrow won’t necessarily be affected for everyone, customers whose income has been affected may find lenders will not be able to complete a loan until their income returns to normal.
What is the impact on interest rates?
The interest rate that our lenders offer to any customer still depends on their personal circumstances and is not unduly affected by the Coronavirus situation.
What if my income has been affected?
We’ve always asked applicants to supply proof of income so that we can help them find an affordable loan product. If you are self-employed but are on reduced income, you may find it more difficult to be accepted for a loan. We can offer advice on this, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Help and resources
Below is a list of resources which we hope you’ll find useful, along with answers to other questions our customers have been asking.
Coronavirus – what it means for you and what you’re entitled to | Money Advice Service
Coronavirus and your money | Money Advice Service
Coronavirus (Covid-19): support for consumers | Financial Conduct Authority
Employment & Self-Employment Coronavirus Help | Money Saving Expert
Debt and Coronavirus | StepChange
How Norton Finance is helping customers
Norton Finance will be operating as normal. We have all appropriate measures in place to protect our staff from Coronavirus. We have put in place procedures for our staff to work from home, but they will still have access to our phone lines and systems. We are ready to continue working to help you with your financial needs.
For those staff that do need to come into the office (although, this is very minimal) we have the correct social distancing and sanitary measures in place to ensure their safety and do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Can you help customers who are still working but in financial difficulty?
Yes we can, if they are working in an industry not impacted by COVID-19. If your income has been affected, please contact your employer and ensure they are making full use of the schemes that have been made available by the government.
If you do have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01709 518518 and we will be more than happy to help.