“Once the furlough scheme comes to an end, the worst-case scenario for many is that they will be working fewer hours than before Covid-19 or will have been made redundant.
“If you are anticipating being on a lower income after furlough, then go through your budget line by line to see where potential savings could be made. Take note of any specific dates that are relevant to you, such as payment holidays coming to an end or bill payments, and speak to your providers about this, as well as new plans or discounts available.”
Fortunately, as the September deadline approaches, a number of experts have released guidance on what should be done by those who face redundancy.
Review your finances and ground yourself in the moment
Nicola Schutrups, the Managing Director of The Mortgage Hut, urged those unlucky enough to be made redundant to review their finances asap, especially ones mortgage commitments.
Ms Schutrups explained: “Generally lenders want to support their borrowers, the last thing they ever want to do is to evict or repossess a property; it’s extremely rare for this to happen in the UK.
“What banks may look to do, depending on your circumstances, is offer a payment holiday to allow you to have a bit of breathing space. They may also allow you to just service the interest part of your mortgage, which could reduce payments significantly.
“The worst thing that you can do is not speak to your lender and miss mortgage payments as this could have a negative impact on your credit file. It also means that when your fixed rate ends, you could miss out on a really competitive rate which could then see your payments go up further, putting even more financial pressure on you. We are in a very regulated environment where consumers are well protected and lenders generally do want to help their customers.”
Martin Boroson, a Zen priest, leadership coach, and former psychotherapist, also provided advice on how people can manage their stress and mental health during this difficult period: “This deceptively simple action–focusing on your breath, in this moment–may sound like a cliche particularly when times are hard, but it really can help you. It won’t solve your problems, but it does help you find the state of mind that can solve your problems.
“It can be easy to let your mind race off in any number of worrying directions, where worst case scenarios are played out. The trouble is you end up feeling the emotional fallout of all these bad experiences when they’ve not actually happened yet.
“And that means you can’t accurately assess the situation, find creative solutions, or even think straight.
“Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and rest in the present, where you are still okay. Even just a little bit of this will help you calm down a little. And once you have calmed down, you’ll find you are able to think more clearly about the next steps you need to take.”