The UK regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced it will extend payment holidays on personal loans, credit cards, auto finance and pawn shops to further support borrowers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who have not yet had a payment deferral under his July guidelines can request one that lasts for up to six months, he said in a statement.
During this time, borrowers who have already had a deferral will be able to request a second.
For high-cost, short-term credits (like payday loans), consumers might ask for a one-month deferral if they haven’t already had one.
The FCA has also advised consumer credit clients to continue repaying if they can afford it, adding that borrowers should only seek support when needed.
“We will be working with commercial organizations and lenders on how to implement these proposals as quickly as possible, and will make another announcement shortly,” the watchdog said.
“In the meantime, consumer credit customers should not yet contact their lender. Lenders will soon provide information on what this means for their clients and how to request this support if our proposals are upheld. “
The update comes following the latest government restrictions in response to increased infections across the country.
England will be placed under a month-long lockdown on Thursday, ending December 2, to limit a second wave of COVID-19.
Under the new measures, non-essential stores and hotels will have to close and travel will be subject to new restrictions. However, schools and colleges will be allowed to remain open.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘Christmas is going to be different this year, maybe very different, but it is my hope and my sincere belief that by taking strong action we can empower families across the country to ‘be together.
“We’re not going back to the full-scale March and April lockdown, the measures I described are much less primitive and less restrictive. However, I am afraid that from Thursday the basic message will be the same: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Over the weekend, the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK since the start of the pandemic reached 1,000,000.
Watch: Over 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases in UK