Coronavirus support for Co-operative Bank and smile credit card customers
23 April 2020
We know that a lot of our customers may be affected either directly or indirectly by the recent events relating to coronavirus. We are here to help and support you.
One of the ways we are helping is to offer customers impacted by coronavirus a credit card payment holiday for 3 months.
If you have already received an initial payment holiday and you feel that you are still experiencing financial difficulty due to coronavirus; then you may want to consider applying for a Payment Holiday extension for up to three months. You can apply for this online 14 days before your payment holiday is due to end.
Please ensure you have read and understood the information below before contacting us. You can currently apply for a payment holiday at any time up to 31 October 2020.
What is a credit card payment holiday?
A credit card payment holiday is a temporary break from making your payments. If you have been impacted financially by coronavirus, and you think you will struggle to make your monthly credit card payments we might be able to help you with a payment holiday for 3 months. If approved, this is done by amending your credit card agreement so the minimum monthly repayment is £0 for three months. Your monthly payment due date will remain the same after this payment holiday.
To apply you just need to complete the form at the bottom of this page.
Who can apply?
You can apply if:
- Your finances have been affected by coronavirus.
- you are up to date with your monthly credit card payments or no more than one payment in arrears on your account, and,
- the account is held in your name (you’re not an ‘additional’ cardholder).
Will my credit file be affected?
Payments we’ve allowed you to miss during your payment holiday will not be reflected on your credit file, and you will not be charged any late or over limit fees. However please be aware that other lenders may take your payment holiday into account which could impact your ability to obtain credit in the future. If you are already over your credit limit at the time of applying for a payment holiday or you exceed your credit limit during the payment holiday, this will be shown on your credit file.
Can I still use my card?
You will still able to use your credit card within your credit limit for spending, balance transfers and cash transactions during this time. These will continue to be added to your account at your current interest rates, along with balance transfer and cash handling fees (where relevant).
Are you waiving penalties for late payments?
You will not be charged default fees on your account, which includes late or over limit fees for the duration of your holiday payment period.
What happens to the interest on my credit card account during a payment holiday?
Please note that interest and handling fees (eg. Cash advances and balance transfer fees) will continue be charged to your account during the payment holiday. This means when the payment holiday ends, the minimum monthly payment you are required to pay under your credit card agreement may be higher than it was before the payment holiday, and may take you longer to repay your balance, even if you haven’t used your card during this time.
Do I need to amend my direct debit or standing order?
During the payment holiday, if you pay by direct debit, please do not cancel the direct debit instruction. When the 3-month payment holiday ends, we will start to collect the payments to your account using the existing direct debit instruction.
If you have a standing order set-up to make payments to this account, you should amend this to ensure payments resume again after the payment holiday end. Please check your payment due amount on your statement at the end of the payment holiday and make sure you set your standing order for that date. This is to make sure that you don’t miss your required payments after your payment holiday which may impact your credit file.
What if I’m still experiencing repayment difficulties after three months?
If you are struggling to make these repayments towards the end of the three month payment holiday, please contact to discuss this us on 03457 212 212, we are available 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday (call charges). We may be able to support you with alternative payment plan arrangements.
Unfortunately, we are experiencing a very high volume of calls at this time so we apologise in advance for any delays you may experience. Please bear with us – we want to help you as soon as we can.
How do I apply for a credit card payment holiday?
You can request a payment holiday by completing our application form using the link below.
You can currently apply for a payment holiday at any time up to 31 October 2020. You can request a payment holiday on up to 3 different credit card accounts per application. If you have more than 3 credit card accounts with us, please complete multiple forms.
You will need the last 4 digits of your 16 digit credit card number (you will find this on the front of your card).
Please note that if you have a non UK address and postcode, you will need to contact us directly to apply for a payment holiday.
We’ll do our best to process your payment holiday within the next 7 working days. If your next payment is due within this period then you may be expected to still make that payment. We will of course endeavour to process your request as soon as possible and will let you know in writing whether your application has been successful.
If you also hold loan accounts with us and need to request a payment holiday for them, please complete another application for these accounts separately.
How do I apply for a payment holiday extension?
If you have already received an initial payment holiday and you feel that you are still experiencing financial difficulty due to coronavirus; then you may want to consider applying for a Payment Holiday extension for up to three months. If you have less than 14 days until your payment holiday is due to end, please use the form below to submit a request for a payment holiday extension.
You should ensure that your application is submitted before your first repayment is due (please see the letters or emails that we have sent to you regarding how to check your repayment start date).
Once you have submitted this form, we will assess your account and call you within 14 days to discuss your request and agree with you the most suitable outcome given your financial circumstances.
If your application is accepted, we will apply another 3 months payment holiday, but you have the option to make additional repayments during this period if you can afford to do so.
Please note, that if we don’t hear from you by the date your first repayment following your payment holiday is due, we will assume you intend to start making your minimum monthly payments again, as detailed in your statements. To remind you, if you miss payments and have not contacted us first then this may impact your credit file.
Protecting you from fraud and scams
We may contact you about your payment holiday request, by phone, letter or email. To protect yourself from scams, it’s important that you remember the following advice;
The Bank, police or any other trusted organisations will never contact you out of the blue by phone, email or text message and then ask you to:
- Download an app or software on to your device and then ask you to log in to your online banking or tell them your online banking verification codes
- Move your money to a new or ‘safe’ account, or ask you to help with an investigation
- Ask you for your card details or bank security information in full.
If we do contact you by email, we will not include any links or attachments within the email asking you to complete more information.