As lockdown continues to problem Scotland’s well being and financial system, Martin Lewis has issued new advice on the right way to navigate this difficult monetary scenario.

In the most recent version of his weekly publication, the founding father of MoneySavingExpert.com included updates on getting cash refunds for holidays – and who to report it to if you don’t, self-employment revenue assist payouts, diminished scholar mortgage repayments and the proposed insurance coverage payment holidays.

“Finally this week there is a little bit of hope for some who’ve fallen into the cracks. While removed from preferrred, it is a manner to make use of the new Bounce Back Loan Scheme to assist your self,” Martin wrote.

The UK Government small enterprise Bounce Back Loan Scheme can be utilized by the self-employed to assist their revenue in the event that they haven’t any different assist.

The 100 per cent state-backed Bounce Back loans for as much as £50,000 have been obtainable since Monday, May 4. They are curiosity and payment-free within the first yr – so pay it off then and it is no price, and at a really low 2.5 per cent annual curiosity after that.

Martin mentioned: “We’ve now had it officially CONFIRMED there’s nowt in the loan rules stopping you using these loans to support your income (though there can be tax/regulation issues depending on your firm’s structure). Of course it’s far from ideal – these are loans, not grants – but it’s an option.”

Here are the most recent ‘need-to-knows’ from Martin Lewis

The Competition and Markets Authority says companies should supply money refunds for cancellations

You can now report companies that do not. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says it has been swamped with complaints from shoppers who’re being rejected for refunds after coronavirus cancellations.

It says whatever the contract, you might be often due a full refund if:

  • No items or service was supplied

  • The agency cannot present the service because of lockdown

  • You cannot use the service because of lockdown

The CMA is investigating all sectors, however will begin with:

The CMA plans to speak to companies first and then take a look at enforcement motion in the event that they nonetheless do not comply. You can report companies instantly for it to have a look at.

You can see the right way to report companies and watch Martin interview a CMA boss the place they speak by precisely what your rights are here.

Self-employment revenue assist payouts coming quicker

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme pays out 80 per cent of income, as much as £2,500 a month, to those that are eligible.

Martin mentioned: “Contact from HMRC to start out this week by letter, textual content and electronic mail with purposes opening on Wednesday, May 13.

“Payments to succeed in accounts six working days from software, so the primary funds could be on May 21.

“The payment is currently planned to cover March, April and May – three months payout.”

If you wish to know your software appointment date now, you do not want to do that, however HMRC has an online eligibility tool for the scheme.

If you undergo that, afterwards you may be randomly allotted a date from 13-18 May.

The Lifetime ISA (LISA) withdrawal penalty has been eliminated for a yr

The monetary journalist advises that “all first-time buyers aged 18-39 should consider saving in a top LISA, as the state adds an unbeatable 25 per cent on top towards your first qualifying home – so put the maximum £4,000 a year in and get £1,000 a year added for free.”

Just bear in mind if you happen to withdraw cash for any motive, apart from shopping for a qualifying dwelling or when you’re 60+, you’ll successfully pay a 6.25 per cent penalty.

To assist individuals entry funds throughout coronavirus, that has now been eliminated till April 5, 2021 and backdated to March 6, 2020 (ie, if you happen to’ve finished it since then you definately get the cash again).

Martin explains how the penalty works: “The normal LISA withdrawal payment is 25%. So put £1,000 in, you get the 25% bonus = £1,250. Withdraw it and 25% was taken off = £937.50, ie, a 6.25% loss.

“Now the withdrawal cost is simply 20%. So put £1,000 in and you’ve got £1,250. Withdraw it and 20% is taken off = the £1,000 you place in.

“Those who’ve acquired an current Help to Buy ISA, the LISA’s predecessor, by no means paid a penalty anyway, so there isn’t any change there.”

Student mortgage repayments reduce as the edge is elevated

“While nothing has structurally modified, the best way all (post-1998) scholar loans work means you repay much less in case your revenue drops and this has simply been given a lift by the annual April enhance to the edge,” Martin wrote.

Plan 1: (All Scotland starters 1998-2012)

  • You now begin repaying above annual earnings of £19,390 (was £18,935)

University leavers repay 9 per cent of revenue above these thresholds, so the rise means in case your wage hasn’t gone up, you pay much less.

If you’ve been put on furlough or your wage has been diminished, the deduction will routinely modify to mirror this.

Insurance payment holidays

Car, dwelling, journey, boiler, life, non-public medical and extra are all obtainable on request.

City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has introduced proposals, more likely to be in place by Wednesday, May 13, meaning individuals can get the next:

  • Payment holidays for 1-3 months on request. This is for these paying month-to-month insurance coverage and struggling because of coronavirus. As most month-to-month insurance coverage funds are literally loans, curiosity nonetheless racks up, so solely do that if actually wanted

  • Waiving cancellation charges for these ending insurance policies

  • Reassessing insurance policies on request to make sure they’re appropriate. For instance, in case your automotive mileage has dropped considerably – and they should not cost charges if you happen to do change

  • Remove ‘pointless’ extras on request. For instance, if you wish to drop your ‘key cowl’ as you are not driving, it ought to be allowed freed from cost

Payment holiday deadline dates

If your funds are degrading and you are debating whether or not to take a payment holiday, do not panic. Here are the final software occasions for key schemes:

  • Until a minimum of June 20: Mortgage payment holidays

  • Until July 9: Credit and retailer playing cards, private loans and catalogue debt

  • Until July 27: Car finance (PCP, lease, HP), pawnbroking, buy-now-pay-later & rent-to-own, payday loans (curiosity and payment freeze)

  • Until August 13 (TBC by FCA): Insurance – automotive, dwelling, mortgage funds

  • Until October 20: Individual voluntary preparations

You can even request an up-to-£500 0 per cent overdraft too out of your financial institution or constructing society.

Read More

Coronavirus in Scotland

Universal Credit system unclogging – if you happen to’ve not utilized, now could be the time

The Universal Credit system had peaked at 48,000 purposes in a single day – 10 occasions the conventional demand.

Figures for per week in the past present purposes all the way down to 32,000 which ought to imply issues are operating extra easily and rapidly.

If you are struggling because of decrease revenue, it is value checking – you may be eligible for Universal Credit even if you happen to’re getting different assist, comparable to furloughing or Self-Employed Income Support. These will simply be counted as revenue once they work out how a lot chances are you’ll get.

The Martin Lewis Money Show coronavirus stay particular is on STV at 8pm on Thursday. You can join the MoneySavingExpert.com newsletter here.



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