Struggling Financially - Help And Support | Ulster Bank

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Struggling financially

We're here to help

Get in touch
Add your signposting title here… Coronavirus support

Where you have had a direct financial impact caused by the coronavirus, we may be able to support you. Financial impact may be caused by a delay in income, a reduction in income or increased expenditure, unexpected loss of income or other serious change to your circumstances.

 

Ulster Bank Business customers

We're here to support you. Please visit the dedicated coronavirus guidance and support hub.

Financial support available to you
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Existing customers - Your first payment holiday

If your income is temporarily affected by coronavirus we could offer you a mortgage holiday of up to 3 months.

There are a few different ways you can apply for a mortgage payment holiday. Before you apply, there is important information that we need to tell you to ensure that you are fully aware of the impact on your mortgage.

Our dedicated page contains all of the important information that you need to read, and instructions on how to apply for a mortgage payment holiday.

Coronavirus: mortgage support

Existing customers - End of payment holiday


Before your first payment holiday ends we'll get in touch with more information about the next steps. If you need additional support, please visit our dedicated page to find out more about your options.

There are a number of options available to you if you don't think you can afford your new monthly mortgage payments. 

Please note if you don't take any action, your new payments will resume on your regular payment date.

Additional support

New customers - Recently applied for a mortgage? 

If you’ve had a mortgage offer with us approved but because of current circumstances you can’t complete the purchase, we’re here to help. We can extend your mortgage offer by 3 months to give you extra time to complete buying your new property or re-mortgaging your existing property.

More about new mortgage offers

Please do not submit a request unless your current offer is going to expire in the next 30 days.

You may be required to provide up to date information on your current financial circumstances and a credit check will be undertaken, this will not have any negative impact towards your credit rating.

Where we can approve your request to extend the offer by up to 3 months, we will email you to confirm your extension within 10 days of receiving this request. If we need any further information to help us process your application we will contact you within the next 7 days.

By requesting an extension to your mortgage offer you are acting on behalf of all parties named on the mortgage.

Extend your new mortgage offer

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Loan repayment breaks

If you are finding it difficult to pay your monthly loan repayment as a result of coronavirus, then you can ask for a 3 month loan repayment break which won’t impact your credit score.

Please note, your repayments will still accrue and you'll need to repay the deferred repayments, including interest, within an agreed timescale after the deferment period. As interest does continue to be charged, this means that you could end up paying a higher amount per month than before the deferment period.

 

Find out more about loan repayment breaks

Our manage your loan page contains more information about applying for a loan repayment break.

Manage your loan

 

How to apply for a loan repayment break

Log into our mobile app, simply tap 'Help' at the bottom of the screen followed by 'Message us' and quote 'coronavirus loan' in your message.

Find out how to get the app

 

What will happen when my loan repayment break comes to an end?

When your repayment break comes to an end we'll get in touch to let you know what you need to do.

If you require additional support, please visit our dedicated loan support page. 

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Credit card payment breaks

If you are finding it difficult to pay your monthly credit card payments as a result of coronavirus, then remember that you can reduce payments to the minimum amount. If you still feel that you cannot pay the minimum, then we could provide a credit card payment break without impacting your credit score. This would mean for 3 months, you will only pay £1 per month. Interest will still be applied during this time so your minimum payment will be higher than usual once the payment break ends.

 

More information and how to apply

If you want to find out more about applying for a credit card payment break, please visit our manage your credit card page. 

Manage your credit card

 

How to apply for a credit card payment break

Log into our mobile app, simply tap 'Help' at the bottom of the screen followed by 'Message us' and quote 'coronavirus credit card' in your message.

Find out how to get the app

 

What will happen when my card payment break comes to an end?

When your payment break comes to an end we'll get in touch to let you know what you need to do.

If you require additional support, please visit our dedicated page.

Credit card payment dispute

 

If you’ve not received the goods or services you’ve paid for by credit card, the first step in making a claim is speaking to the retailer to see if they can resolve.

If the payment was made through PayPal, please refer to their Disputes team for details on how to resolve.

 

How to dispute a credit card payment

 

If you’ve tried to contact the company and still need our support you can raise a dispute with the company using our online form.

Dispute a credit card transaction

 

The limit for contactless spending with your credit card is increasing from £30 to £45.

Retailers need to update their systems to accept these changes, so you don’t need to contact us if your contactless payment over £30 is declined, simply continue to use chip and PIN. You’ll still need to occasionally enter your PIN when presenting your card to prove it’s really you.

 

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Request up to £500 interest free and a lower interest rate

If you’re financially impacted by coronavirus, you will have until 31st October 2020 to request £500 interest free on your existing arranged overdraft (or up to your existing arranged overdraft limit if lower than £500) for a 3 month period. 

We'll also reduce your interest rate on any borrowing above the interest free amount for the same period.

If you request the interest free amount, we'll also reduce your overdraft interest rate that you'll pay for any borrowing above your interest free amount for the same period.

The interest rate will be the temporary reduced rate that was in place prior to 7th August 2020.

Compare your contractual and temporary reduced rate.

Please note, this isn’t a change to your overdraft terms.

What if I've already requested the interest free amount?

If we’ve already agreed an interest free period on your overdraft as part of the coronavirus support on or before 1st July 2020, we’ll automatically extend this for you for a further 3 months from when your interest free period was due to end - so, you don’t need to reapply.

We’ll also keep your interest at a temporary reduced rate, on any borrowing above your interest free amount for the same extended time period.  This will happen automatically. If we have a mobile phone number for you, you should have received an sms in July to confirm this.

It’s important to remember that after the further 3-month period ends, we’ll start to charge interest at your contractual rate on the full overdrawn balance. 

Compare your contractual and temporary reduced rate.

These are temporary measures to support customers who are financially impacted by coronavirus

It's important to remember that after the 3 month period ends, we’ll start to charge interest at our standard rate on the full overdrawn balance. 

You can use our overdraft cost calculator to check what your interest rate will be and what an overdraft would cost you based on your circumstances when the temporary measures end. 

How do I make the request?

If you have an overdraft with us, just fill in a few details to make the temporary interest free and lower rate request.  Have your account number and sort code to hand. 

For more information, please visit our Overdraft coronavirus support page.

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Increased cash withdrawal limit

 

You can request an increase in your Ulster Bank Debit Card cash withdrawal limit of up to £500 to help you access your money. To do this, you can call us on 03457 424 365 (Relay UK: 18001 03457 424 365).

 

 

Request a contactless card if you have a Foundation account

You can now request a Contactless Debit Card if you have a basic Foundation bank account to make contact free purchases. To do this, you can call us on 03457 424 365 (Relay UK: 18001 03457 424 365).

 

The limit for contactless spending with your Debit Card is increasing from £30 to £45.

Retailers need to update their systems to accept these changes, so you don’t need to contact us if your contactless payment over £30 is declined, simply continue to use chip and PIN. You’ll still need to occasionally enter your PIN when presenting your card to prove it’s really you.

Student and Graduate account - no account changes in 2020

 

If you have a Student account and are expecting to move to a Graduate account this year, due to current circumstances your account will no longer change in 2020.

If you have a Graduate account and are due to move to the second year where your interest free overdraft buffer is reduced, this reduction will also not take place in 2020. 

Instead we will make these changes to your Student or Graduate account in the second half of next year. We’ll write to you closer to the time with more information. This means you can carry on using the current benefits of your Student or Graduate account. 

If we wrote to you in October 2019 about moving your Student or Graduate account to a Select account, this move will not take place until 2021 and again we will write to you closer to the time.

Please note, this isn’t a change to your account terms & conditions.

 

Debit Card payment dispute

 

If you've not received the goods or services you've paid for by Debit Card, the first step in making a claim is speaking to the retailer to see if they can resolve the issue for you.

If you have contacted the retailer and they were unable to assist, we can raise a dispute for you.

 

How to dispute a Debit Card payment

 

We've created a simple online form to make raising a dispute online as smooth as possible.

Here's what we'll need:

  • The retailer name
  • The transaction amount and the date
  • Your account details

Dispute a Debit Card Transaction

 

 

 

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Early closure of Ulster Bank fixed savings accounts to access cash with no early closure charge.

To close your fixed term savings account, you can call us on 03457 424 365 (Relay UK: 18001 03457 424 365).

You can also close your fixed term savings account through Anytime Banking or your mobile app:

Anytime Banking

  • Log into your Anytime Banking account
  • Start a chat with Cora by clicking on the "Need help" icon, then "chat now"
  • Type the following to start your account closure: "I want to close my fixed rate savings account"

Mobile app

  • In your app tap on the "Help" button
  • Tap "Message us" to start a secure chat
  • Type the following to start your account closure:  "I want to close my fixed rate savings account"

 

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Home Insurance payment deferrals

If you're finding it difficult to pay your monthly insurance payments as a result of coronavirus, there are a few different ways we could help you. We could change your payment dates or organise a payment deferral for up to 3 months.

Before requesting a payment deferral, please read the important information below to make sure you're fully aware of the impact on your insurance.

Payment deferral

  • A payment deferral allows you to stop paying your insurance payments for an agreed period of time and if agreed, it won’t have any negative impact on your credit rating
  • When your monthly payments start again after the deferral, the amount that has been "missed" will be spread over your remaining instalments
  • We will not charge any additional interest to you so the total amount you pay will not increase as a result
  • Payment deferrals should only be used when absolutely necessary, the remaining cost of your insurance policy will still be due, but will be paid for over a shorter period

What should I do next?

If you're struggling financially then please call us and we’ll see what we can do to help. Please don’t cancel any payments or direct debits through your bank as this can affect your policy with us and may have a negative impact on your credit rating.  

Ulster Bank Insurance Team

For Home Insurance call: 0345 877 6703 

(Relay UK: 18001 0345 877 6703)

Missed payments

I have already missed one or more payments

If you've already missed one or more payments, don’t panic, we are here to help. You may have already received some form of contact from us and we understand that during times like these it can feel easier to avoid a conversation with us and hope the situation improves, but it's really important that you do.

 

When you contact us, you'll be chatting with dedicated colleagues who are here to support you and discuss your current situation. You may be asked to complete an income and expenditure form so they can see what solutions are available for you.  Having details of your income/outgoings to hand would be helpful.

 

More info on the form can be found here.

I know I'm going to miss a payment soon

If you know you are going to miss a payment towards any of the following please get in contact as soon as possible so we can support you:

 

•Mortgage

•Loan

•Credit Card

•Bank Account

•Business Account

 

Its really important you contact us. When you do, you'll be speaking to dedicated colleagues who are here to support you and discuss your current situation. You may be asked to complete an income and expenditure form so they can see what solutions are available for you.

 

More info on the form can be found here.

I'm worried I might miss a payment in the future

You don’t have to be struggling with your finances to get our help, if you're worried things might change in the future and you want to take control now, we have tools available to help you. Check out our financial health check and book in for a time that suits you.

 

Add your signposting title here… We're ready when you are

If you want to speak to our dedicated team please select the 'Need help?' button on the right hand side of the page.

We will need to get an accurate picture of your situation so please have a few details to hand:

  • Your monthly income (including any benefits, overtime, bonuses)
  • Your monthly household spending (including all of your bills and expenses)
  • The amount you owe
  • The number of organisations you owe money to

You'll find most of this information on your bank statements or by looking at your bank account online. If you don't bank with Ulster, then call your bank as soon as you can.

 

Get in touch

  • Via the Mobile App: simply tap ‘Help’ at the bottom of the screen followed by ‘Message us’
  • On our pages: ask Cora via the 'Help' button in the bottom right corner of the page

To help you find the right information, quote 'struggling financially' in your message. 

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PayPlan
Add your signposting title here… Independent support available

If you are struggling with your finances, you can get free debt advice. We partner with PayPlan (a third party company), who can offer you free confidential advice for all of your debts. 

Start your journey with PayPlan

 

What are signs that I might need help?

1. You’re regularly spending more than you earn.

2. You’re worried about paying back the money you owe and your debts feel like a huge burden.

3. You’re dealing with difficult circumstances that make it hard for you to manage your money

4. You’re being contacted about unpaid bills and missed payments.

5. Several of your cards are at the maximum credit limit.

Useful links

Free advice on debt, benefits, housing, legal matters, employment and general consumer advice.

Citizens Advice

Free advice on debt, divorce/separation, setting up a new home, care & disability.

Money Advice Service

Free and impartial advice on debt, divorce/separation, setting up a new home, care & disability.

GOV. UK

Government support for landlords and renters reflecting the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Housing Executive

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for renters and landlords from the Housing Executive.

Free advice on bankruptcy, employment, benefits, money management and mortgage/repossession support.

Stepchange Debt Charity

Free and confidential advice on debt.

Advice NI

If you want to speak to our dedicated team please select the 'Need help?' button on the right hand side of the page.

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