We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
Woman on sofa smiling at mobile phone

Covid Payment Plan (CVPP)

It's the simple way to restore certainty and get your finances back on track after coronavirus.

Is a CVPP right for me?

CVPPs are available throughout the UK.

The Covid Payment Plan (CVPP) is a short-term helping hand, offering you a simple alternative to full debt advice, long-term restructuring of debt or taking additional borrowing to repay arrears.

It gives you time to recover your income and regain control of your financial situation. A simple way to pay back money you owe towards your credit commitments based on what you can afford.

How does the Covid Payment Plan work?

If you’re on a CVPP you'll make reduced payments towards your monthly financial commitments such as your credit cards or loans.

The reduced payments will last for the period that you're managing on a reduced income, up to a maximum of 12 months. During this time, to help your plan be the most effective it can be, it's important that you don't increase your borrowing.

A CVPP is designed to help you get back on track until your income returns to normal and gives you certainty of what you'll be paying in the meantime. However, you'll still have debts remaining at the end of the plan. You'll need to speak to your creditors at that point to agree your new payments.

Benefits of a CVPP

  • Reduces the stress and time it can take dealing with multiple debts and creditors by simplifying your payments into one monthly payment
  • Enables you to budget with certainty. Your monthly payment is determined by how much you can are able to pay after your essential living costs, so you have the comfort of knowing it's affordable
  • Provides reassurance and comfort that there is flexibility if your situation changes. Just update us if things change and we'll reassess your situation to make sure you're getting the right support
  • We’ll ask creditors to freeze interest and charges on your debts for up to 12 months, giving you time to get your finances back on track
  • Support from an organisation with over 25 years' experience. We help people turn their lives around every day. We could do the same for you

Risks of a CVPP

  • While you’re on a CVPP your credit file will show that you’re making reduced payments. This will remain on your credit file for six years
  • Your credit rating is likely to worsen while you’re making reduced payments
  • Your ability to take out new credit may be affected
  • Most creditors will agree to reduce or stop interest and charges, but they don’t have to. If creditors continue adding interest and charges, this could increase the total amount you currently owe
  • Your creditors don’t have to agree to your plan and may still take further collections and court action against you, such as obtaining a County Court judgment (CCJ)
  • If you’re unable to maintain the agreed payments towards the plan, it will automatically close and you’ll need to seek further advice

Worried about money due to coronavirus?

If coronavirus has seriously affected your finances, you may be eligible for a Covid Payment Plan to help you get back on track. Answer a few simple questions and we'll find you the best help for your situation.

Get help now

How to apply for a Covid Payment Plan

one icon

If coronavirus has seriously affected your finances, answer a few simple questions to find the right support for your situation

two icon

If your application for a CVPP is successful we’ll give you a personal action plan with information about setting up the plan

three icon

Once we have the all information we need, we'll contact your creditors and you start making payments to them through your CVPP

Frequently asked CVPP questions

While you’re on a CVPP your credit file will reflect this and show that you’re making reduced payments.

Creditors may report that the account is subject to a ‘forbearance arrangement’ or under a ‘debt management plan’. This reassures anyone looking at your credit file that you’re making reduced payments as part of a plan.

It does mean that your credit rating is likely to deteriorate during the time you’re on a CVPP. As you’re making reduced payments, your score will not deteriorate as quickly as it would have if you had failed to make these payments.

This will show on your credit file for six years from the date it was added.

Of course, because the credit rating will be affected, the more you pay now and the sooner you can return to making your full contractual payments, the lesser the impact will be.

Credit providers have an individual approach to how they will view the impact of this on your credit score, but your ability to take out new credit may be affected.

At the end of your CVPP, you may wish to take steps to improve your credit rating. We’ll provide you with helpful tips on how to improve your rating towards the end of your plan.

Credit commitments

To be eligible for a CVPP, you must be able to pay a reasonable amount of what would be your normal contractual payments. Credit commitments include:

- Credit cards

- Personal loans

- Store cards

- Pay day loans

- Catalogue accounts

Priority arrears

Some debts are a priority because the consequences of not paying them are greater than the consequences of not paying others.

For example, if you don’t pay your rent or your mortgage you could lose your home. You must always pay these before your other debts.

Priority arrears must be paid in full within the 12 months of your CVPP. These include:

- Council tax

- Water

- Gas

- Electricity

- Rates

- Other priority arrears not connected to housing or assets

It’s important that you continue to maintain all payments to any:

- Commitments you’ve not told us about

- Essential household bills, such as your mortgage or rent and utility bills

- Child support you pay

- Court fines you have outstanding

- Taxes you must pay

Not maintaining these payments could result in action against you.

Your creditors could try to recover the debt, you may lose access to essential goods or services or the goods could be repossessed.

You may be evicted if you don’t keep up to date with your mortgage, secured loan or rent payments.

If you have an overdraft on your existing bank account, you should aim to reduce the balance on this during the course of your CVPP. While there’s no ability to add an overdraft to a CVPP, reducing an overdraft reduces any interest and charges you have to pay for it, to positively help your financial situation.

The following debts can't be included in a CVPP:

- Mortgages and mortgage arrears

- Rent and rent arrears

- Secured loans

- Overdrafts

- Hire purchases and hire purchase arrears

- Benefit overpayment repayments

- Fines

- Taxes

- CCJs / decrees

- Child maintenance arrears

- Insurance arrears

- TV licence arrears

There are other options available to you if you have debts that can't be included in a CVPP.

If you're struggling to make payments towards these debts, you should speak to your creditor as soon as possible.

You can also use our online debt advice tool to find the right solution for your situation.

Throughout the duration of the plan, you’ll need to pay a reasonable amount of what would be your normal monthly payments.

We'll work this out for you during your application, from what you have left over after your essential household costs are accounted for. We'd recommend you pay as much as you can afford through a plan.

To help you get back on track sooner, it’s important that you don’t increase your borrowing while you’re on the plan, by taking out new credit products or spending more on your current credit commitments.

If your income shows a lasting improvement during the term of a CVPP, you can increase the amount you pay, which will help you to return to making your normal monthly payments sooner. Contact us to arrange this when your financial situation improves.

You should end your plan sooner if you’re able to make your normal monthly payments to your creditors, or when you decide you no longer need it. This may help reduce the impact on your credit file.

You won’t be able to make additional, one-off payments to the plan.

If your financial situation gets more difficult and you find you’re struggling to make your monthly payment, get free debt advice as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to find your best long-term solution.

It isn’t permitted to miss or reduce your monthly payment to the plan. If you’re unable to make a payment towards your plan you must get in touch with us, as your plan will close. We’ll review your situation with you, find a solution you can afford, and cancel the plan.

The amount you owe your creditors at the end of the plan may have increased from what you owe them now.

Your creditors will expect you to repay any outstanding arrears on the money you owe after the end of your plan. You’ll need to talk with your creditors towards the end of your plan to arrange how you’ll repay the arrears. This may be done by increasing your monthly payment to them, or increasing the term of your arrangement.

Your creditors may continue to charge interest on the money you owe while the plan is in place. To reduce the amount of interest you may have to pay, we recommend you pay as much as you can afford through your plan.

If any of your creditors don’t freeze interest or charges on your account while you’re on a CVPP, your payments may only cover some or all of the interest, rather than reducing the amount you borrowed. That will mean your debt may be increasing. If this happens on any of the accounts listed in your CVPP, you should contact your creditor to understand how the payments you’re making to us are affecting your account with them. When you have this information, you may need to consider whether a CVPP is still the right option for you.

Credit providers have different approaches to how and when they issue default notices and how they’ll view the impact of this on your credit score. This means that depending upon the contributions you make to your creditors, they may still choose to record this as a default and could take further action. This may include legal action, selling the debt and/ or stopping further credit from that source. It may also impact your ability to obtain credit elsewhere. To understand what your creditors may or may not do you should contact them directly.

You should not ignore communications from your creditors during the length of your plan.

If you complete the plan successfully, you’ll return to making normal monthly payments to all your credit commitments, and pay your creditors directly.

You’ll find that some of your payments may have risen because of interest, charges and arrears that may have been added to your account, as you'll still have debts remaining at the end of the plan.

You’ll need to contact your creditors towards the end of your plan to come to an arrangement to repay any interest, charges and arrears. Your lenders will discuss this with you and may include increasing your monthly payment or increasing the term of your arrangement.

Worried about money?

Find out if you're eligible for a CVPP.

If you're not, we'll explain your other options to help you get your finances back on track.

Get help now