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Can I get time off from repaying debts?

If you have a short-term problem which makes it difficult to repay your debts, you may want to ask your creditors for a payment holiday.

For example, if you have a temporary drop in income or a gap between jobs, you may need a few months’ break in payments.

You can ask your creditors to consider this, but there’s no guarantee they’ll agree.

signpost iconRead our guide to dealing with reduced income caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

If a creditor agrees to a break, the payments you miss will usually be treated as arrears. The gap in payments will be marked on your credit file and this may make it harder to get credit in future. Depending how long the break in payments is, your creditor may issue a default notice.

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How should I ask for a payment break?

If you’re considering asking for a payment break, you’ll need to give your creditors some information about your circumstances to support your request. They’ll probably want to know about your income, living expenses and other debts.

You can use our online debt advice tool to help you put together a budget to send to your creditors, or call our debt advisors (free from all landlines and mobiles).

You'll need to tell your creditors the reason you're asking for a payment break and when you'll be able to start making normal payments again.

If your creditors agree to a payment break, ask them to send you a letter or email to confirm this. Payments you should have made will need to be paid after the payment break ends, either by increasing the amount of your future payments, or by adding extra months to the end of the agreement so it takes longer to pay back.

Be prepared that creditors may not agree. If they don’t, contact us and we can look at alternative ways to help you deal with a short-term debt problem. Some creditors will point you towards a free debt advice agency like us anyway if you contact them to ask for a payment break.