If you’ve been impacted by coronavirus and are worried about making payments on your personal HSBC credit card, you can request a 3-month payment holiday. This won’t impact your credit file.
Taking a credit card payment holiday is only suitable if you have short-term financial concerns.
See more information about what to do if you have longer-term concerns, or if you’re already behind on payments.
Who can request a payment holiday?
You can submit a request if:
- you hold an HSBC personal credit card account (you can’t submit a request if you’re an additional cardholder)
- you’ve been directly or indirectly impacted by coronavirus
- your ability to make at least your minimum monthly credit card payment has been temporarily affected, or you’re expecting it to be – for example, you’ve lost your job or you’re having to work less hours
If this doesn’t currently apply to you, please don’t make a request now. You’ll be able to make a request up until 9 July 2020 if your circumstances change.
Find out more about your options if you hold an HSBC business credit card.
How will this work?
If you submit a request for a 3-month credit card payment holiday and it’s accepted, we’ll temporarily change the terms of your credit card agreement. There'll be no minimum monthly payment due over the payment holiday.
We’ll write to you to confirm this change. There’ll be no other changes to your terms and conditions, which will continue to apply during the payment holiday.
If you make your credit card payments by Direct Debit, we won’t collect any payments from you during this period (if you pay by standing order, you’ll need to cancel this).
At the end of the 3-month period, we’ll go back to calculating your minimum payment as before. This may be higher after the payment holiday, because it’s normally based on a percentage of your balance – this will take into account any increase due to interest, or use of your card, during the payment holiday.
Will interest and charges apply during the payment holiday?
We’ll continue to charge interest at the usual rates during the payment holiday. You can find details of these rates in your credit card agreement or on your monthly statement. Standard charges (for example, if you use your card to withdraw cash) will also apply.
As you won’t be paying off interest during this period (which means we’ll charge interest on that interest, as well as on any transactions on your account), it may cost you more and take you longer to repay your balance.
You’ll still be able to make payments towards your account during the payment holiday period (though we won't collect any payments by Direct Debit). Any payments you’re able to make will reduce the amount of interest you pay.
We won’t apply any charges for going over your credit limit during the payment holiday. As you won’t need to make any payments during this period, there’ll be no charges for paying late.
What if you have an introductory or promotional rate on your account?
This will continue to apply for the rest of your introductory or promotional period, which won’t be affected by the payment holiday. After this, our standard rates will apply.
Can you still use your credit card?
You’ll still be able to use your credit card as normal during the payment holiday period. This means we won’t suspend use of your card due to the payment holiday. However, if we’ve suspended your card for another reason (for example because we see a risk of fraud, or we feel you won’t be able to repay what you owe), the payment holiday won’t change this.
How do you request a credit card payment holiday?
To submit a request for a credit card payment holiday, you can fill out our online form. Once we’ve processed your request, we’ll be in touch by email or post as soon as possible. This could take up to 7 working days as we’re receiving a high number of requests, so please bear with us.
To fill out the form, you’ll need your:
- credit card number
- next payment date
You can find these details on your credit card, statements or the account summary screen in online banking.
Once your request has been processed and a decision has been made, we’ll contact you by email or send you a letter with an update. We won’t be able to provide this over the phone. If your request is accepted, this will set out the temporary variation to your credit card terms and conditions.
Will this affect your credit file?
Taking a credit card payment holiday won’t impact your credit file. However, if you go over your credit limit due to interest or new transactions added during the payment holiday, or you don’t restart payments after it ends, your credit file could be affected.
When will the payment holiday apply?
If your request is accepted, we’ll be in touch to confirm when the payment holiday will apply. If you haven’t missed any payments, it’ll usually start on the payment due date after we accept your request and last for 3 months.
What if you’ve already missed a payment?
You can still request a payment holiday using our online form.
If you’ve only missed your most recent payment, we’ll take this into account so your payment holiday will last for another 2 months.
If you’ve missed more than one payment, we’ll review your request. However, there may be other options that are more suitable for you, depending on your circumstances. If this is the case, we’ll provide further details of the available options.
If you’ve already spoken to our Financial Guidance Team and an alternative solution or payment arrangement has been set up, this will remain in place while we process your request for a payment holiday. If your request is accepted, we’ll take care of this and update the solution or payment arrangement without you needing to contact us.
What if you've received a letter about being in 'persistent debt?'
Persistent debt is where you’ve paid more in interest and charges than towards repaying the amount borrowed on your card over an 18-month period. If we’ve written to you about this, you can still request a payment holiday using our online form.
What if you still can’t afford to make your credit card payments after the payment holiday?
If you’re worried about being able to start making at least your minimum monthly payment again at the end of the payment holiday, you should contact us at that point to see what options we have available to support you. We have a range of other solutions available to support with longer term difficulties – some of these may have an impact on your credit file.
Can you change my payment due date during my payment holiday?
No – the payment holiday gives you a break from making payments, so you won’t be able to change your usual payment due date until you’ve started making payments again.
Can you request another payment holiday, if you've taken one already?
No, you can only request one payment holiday. If you’re worried you won’t be able to start making payments again after the payment holiday, please get in touch at that point to see what options we have available to support you going forward.
Can you cancel a payment holiday?
No, you can’t cancel a payment holiday once it’s been confirmed. We’ll have changed your terms and conditions, so there are no payments due during this period.
However, you can still choose to make payments during the payment holiday period – we just won’t collect any by Direct Debit. You can find other ways to make payments on the back of your monthly credit card statement.
You can also apply for a payment holiday if you have an existing HSBC credit card account which was previously held with HFC Bank Limited, Beneficial Finance, Marbles or GM Card. Find out more.