Credit: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Brady Baroness Brady Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that consumers’ future ability to access credit is not adversely impacted by any payment holidays taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Government recognises the important role payment holidays play in providing temporary support to consumers through this period and continues to work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to support consumers facing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lenders must act responsibly when deciding whether and how much credit to issue. This includes assessing consumers’ ability to repay. The information on a consumer’s credit file is an important part of this assessment. FCA guidance makes clear that, during a payment holiday, accounts should be recorded to ensure the consumers’ current credit data position is maintained or frozen for the duration of the payment holiday period. The Government expects that this should not impact on a consumer’s credit file.

Consumers should speak to their lender about their options when coming to the end of their payment holiday.

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