We’ve been in lockdown now for a little over 7 weeks & with the news coming out today that furlough is going to be around until October it seems that a lot of us won’t be going back to our normal way of lives for the duration leaving us worried and money concious..
My maternity leave would of been over at the end of this month but I didn’t want to go back to the City with Jack being so young so I handed my notice in well in advance of returning to work from maternity leave back in March, which has ultimately backfired on me. My plan was to seek a new local role to start within April/May that would aid me to still do some school runs come September for Frankie & be around for Jack as well.
For someone that has worked since they were 16 in property and facilities management, always in an office setting, it isn’t the most ideal time to find any kind of employment! I have worked in London for most of my career too and local jobs doing what I was doing in the City don’t pay half as well down here but I was positive I’d find something
Then the pandemic ramped up & we were told to contact employers, even if we had ‘willingly resigned’ aka me, to be furloughed. Though not guaranteed, the government urged employers to allow this to happen to help but despite working for the same company for 6 years they refused. I know that yes I left on my own accord but taking into account the longevity I spent in the company I thought I’d be ok.
I recieved my last payment at the end of April and accrued holiday which I paid lump sums on my credit card & very bill, but I still have my phone bill, car insuarance/tax, netflix account to pay. Our household bills are covered by Mitch’s wage luckily he has supported us while I’ve been on maternity leave but I felt that it was time for me to start getting back into a career and providing for the home too.
I’ve looked at jobs in supermarkets, delivery driving jobs, anything to ‘tick me over’ until as and when we can go back to work but while we have food on the table & our household bills are paid we decided against it especially as the kids are priority and Mitch can be called back into work at anytime and we’d have no childcare.
So I bit the bullet and applied for ‘new style job seekers’, as I guess now that technically is what I am.. I’ve paid into the system since I was 16, it’s what it’s there for so why have I found it so difficult to swallow? Who knows if I’ll get anything at all but it’s worth a try. ⠀
To alleviate the pressure swirling my mind I also applied for ‘payment holidays’ from my credit card & very which were granted for 3 months. The interest still accumulates, it doesn’t show on your credit profile (my biggest worry especially as we were planning on buying a house this year) ⠀
I feel embarrassed of my situation, I could never of predicted I’d be a mum of two, unemployed & no money coming in. It’s a scary predicament but my home is paid for & there’s food on the table and for that I’m lucky I know our situation isn’t as bad as others but I hope that from being open it helps others look for help & don’t let the weight of money bring you down especially at this time because ultimately it’s out of our hands until we can control the spread.
Where you can find help –
Martin Lewis – The Money Saving Expert is amazing, his website has a whole section dedicated to Covid-19, finances, furlough explained & how you can help yourselves.
I had no idea there were such things as payment holidays until I overhead it on the news and googled my own debtors. You still accumulate interest but it’ll relieve you of the worries. You can apply up until the 9th July so if you can afford the payments before then keep them up and apply a week before you can’t make the payment to give yourself more time without stress aka if you’re going on maternity leave/end of a contract.
Also, I haven’t called a single person, Nationwide, Captial One & Very payment holidays can all be submitted online, I did my application yesterday & I have had emails and texts today to confirm I have been accepted and no further payments need to be made now until August which I’ve calendar marked in my phone and I’m hopeful by then I’ll be in employment.
Here’s what you need to know about credit payment holidays:
- Three-month payment holidays are available to customers whose finances are affected by coronavirus. So if you’re struggling to make payments, or think you will struggle over the next couple of months, your lender needs to help you when you ask.
- You have until 9 July 2020 to request a payment holiday. If it’s granted, you won’t need to pay anything towards your loan or credit card for up to three months from the date it’s granted.
- You likely won’t need to prove you’re struggling. Most lenders are not asking for proof that your finances have been affected by coronavirus, they’re essentially taking you at your word. But a payment holiday isn’t always a good thing, as…
- You’ll still be charged interest during the payment holiday. This means you’ll likely end up paying slightly more overall. So it’s best to do this only if you need to – if you can pay, it’s best to keep doing so.
- Lenders need only give the payment holiday where it’s a suitable solution. If you already have debt problems, or there’s a chance your income won’t recover after the coronavirus crisis is over, the lender can deny you a payment holiday. But if that’s the case, it should work with you to find a more suitable solution, such as directing you to debt help, setting up a longer-term repayment plan or waiving interest and charges.