Sharon McDougall - 17th January 2023 - 2 minutes to read
NatWest has committed to offering a degree of ‘breathing space’ to its customers who are struggling to repay their unsecured debts.
The bank has said it will extend the repayment periods for users of its personal loans and overdrafts from 18 months to 24 months if those customers are finding it tough to make their scheduled repayments on time.
“We’re committed to supporting those in financial difficulty with interventions designed to create breathing space and alleviate pressure,” the bank has said.
“From early February this year, where customers have missed several payments on an unsecured debt such as a loan or overdraft, we will extend the time for them to repay their debt from 18 to 24 months, giving them more time and flexibility.”
NatWest representatives have said the change in repayments policy is in response to the added cost of living pressures that consumers have been experiencing right across the UK in recent months.
The bank has also committed to allocating funds towards the Trussell Trust food bank charity and to the debt advice sector, which saw a significant increase in demand for its services last year.
“Whilst we are not yet seeing significant increases in defaults or people in arrears, this new package of funding and measures is designed to provide on the ground support to communities, breathing space for customers in difficulty,” commented Alison Rose, chief executive of the NatWest Group.
“We know that everyone’s situation is unique, and I encourage customers who are facing difficulty to get in touch with us at the first available opportunity,” she added.
According to the debt help charity StepChange, the rising cost of living is now the number one driver of debt problems among UK consumers.
Rising levels of energy debt has been a prominent feature of the ongoing cost of living crisis and rising prices more generally are known to be pushing an ever-increasing number of households into problem debt situations.
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are worried about your personal debts or how to handle your creditors then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
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