Covid 19 Status

In line with HM Government requirements to fight the spread of Covid-19 we have measures in place to ensure that we protect our staff, their families and the wider community, but also to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our customers.

Your access to online Multi Agency Credit Reports, Expert Help and Account Management remains unaffected. We take great pride in the support that we provide to our customers and throughout this period will do all we can to minimise the impact on our services. While the country remains in lockdown we will continue to support your queries via a dedicated and experienced team that will be securely working from home, and supported by a Management Team that will continue to be based at our head office and who will be able to provide customer support as required.

The security measures that we have in place to protect your Personal Data, in line with our Privacy Policy, will mean that some elements of our personalised support are affected during this period as our support team will be working with anonymised data when working remotely. Freephone access to our Credit Analysts has been removed during this period while we focus our efforts on continuing to reply to all of your emails and secure messages within one working day.

Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to have full customer support available as soon as possible and wish you well during these challenging times.

Statutory Sick Pay: What you can get

Posted by Sam Griffin in Personal Finance on 19 March 2020

Recent health concerns in the UK are starting to worry workers – and that’s putting it mildly. Pandemics and tumbling stock prices are rarely good for business and, where businesses struggle, often so to do the personal finances of workers. But what happens if you fall ill in the middle of all this?

Many are understandably worrying about how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage if they’re unable to work – either through illness or forced closure. Pressure breeds stress, which in turn can make you even more susceptible to illness. It’s a nasty cycle that could very easily spiral out of control.

Thankfully, some of the concern can be put to bed. The UK has a fairly robust sick pay system that entitles employees to funds when unable to work due to illness. A bit of clarity goes a long way in gaining some peace of mind, so it’s best to check whether you’re eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, how much you can get, and how to get it.

What is Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a legal right in the UK for any employees who meet the eligibility criteria. SSP ensures that employers provide workers with a baseline level of sick pay, which is currently up to £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks.

SSP is paid by employers (rather than the government) to employees, directly to their bank accounts just like wages.

Some employers offer Occupational Sick Pay (OSP), which is sickness benefit decided by the company’s own policy. Your employer’s Occupational Sick Pay might offer benefits that exceed the minimum SSP but cannot be anything less. OSP is essentially a little bit extra offered by your employer, in addition to your Statutory Sick Pay.

The Statutory Sick Pay safety net is especially welcome during times of financial hardship, where pressing bills – such as a mortgage or rent – can be an additional source of worry to someone already suffering from an illness.

Who is eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?

To benefit from Statutory Sick Pay, you’ll need to meet the following:

  • Have a formal employment contract with your employer. This document outlines the terms of your employment, including your duties, responsibilities, and pay. If you don’t have a copy, you can request one from your line manager
  • Have been unable to work at least four days in a row due to illness – including non-working days
  • Earn at least £118 per week from your job
  • Have notified your employer of your illness within their time limit (or seven days if they don’t have one). If you fail to tell your employer that you’re sick, they won’t have to start paying SSP until you do
  • After seven days, you only become eligible for further Statutory Sick Pay by giving your employer proof of illness (such as a doctor’s note)
  • Must work within the EU
  • Haven’t yet received your maximum 28 weeks’ worth of SSP

If you can tick these boxes, you’ll be eligible for SSP. This means your employer is obliged to provide SSP if you’re unable to work due to illness.

Even workers on zero-hour contracts can benefit from Statutory Sick Pay, as long as they meet the criteria set out above.

Your employer’s Occupational Sick Pay may have different (maybe even more lenient) criteria before they start helping you, but you’ll need to check with them directly. Their individual business policies will be unique to them as a company and may vary.

Can self-employed workers get Statutory Sick Pay?

Help for the self-employed is especially important during an illness, as they’re entirely dependent on their own labour to support themselves. Unfortunately, self-employed workers are not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, as it is a benefit an employer provides to their employees.

Instead, self-employed workers often take out some form of sickness insurance to cover a portion of lost income if they’re unable to work. A form of income insurance can help the self-employed, but it’s worth noting that sickness insurance usually pays out less than Statutory Sick Pay, so it’s not an exact comparison, but it is a small safety measure.

To sum up:

  • If you’re employed and eligible for SSP, you can get up to £94.25 each week for 28 weeks – a major source of financial help when you’re unable to work
  • Your employer can ask for a doctor’s note as proof of illness before paying sick pay after the initial seven days
  • Self-employed workers cannot benefit from Statutory Sick Pay, but might take out sickness insurance instead

What else can I do?

If you’re taken ill while qualifying for Statutory Sick Pay, the benefits can hopefully provide some relief.

You can also get a thorough understanding of your finances by keeping an eye on your Credit Report, which details the status of your credit accounts, balances, and outgoings. You’ll be able to see how much you owe on your reported accounts, to which creditors, and keep track of your money even easier.

The health of your Credit Report can influence how expensive your credit cards, loans, and even your mortgage might be, now and in the future. It’s also vital in deciding whether you’ll be accepted or declined credit in the first place.

You’ll have a different Credit Report at each of the four Credit Reference Agencies: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Crediva. Because each one holds a different set of information, you’ll need to check them all to ensure you leave no stone unturned.

checkmyfile helps make this process hassle-free by collating your complete information from all Credit Reference Agencies into the UK’s most detailed Credit Report. You can check your Multi Agency Credit Report free for 30 days. It’s then just £14.99 per month and you can easily cancel at any time online, or by freephone or email.

The peace of mind offered by monitoring your Credit Report and Statutory Sick Pay should help put excessive worry to rest.

Changing name after marriage

Once the wedding ceremony is finished, you’re probably exhausted; excited to enjoy your honeymoon; dive into the wedding gifts; and prepare to send out seemingly thousands of thank-you cards to distant relatives. It’s easy to delay some of the less exciting activities, like contacting your lenders to give them your new name, but is it worth putting it off? Should your Credit Report lie at the bottom of your list of priorities? Not if you plan on applying for literally any type of credit with your new spouse.

Published on 20 Aug 2020 by Kirstie Brown

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Why Is My Loan Balance Wrong On My Credit Report?

One of the most important parts of your Credit Report is your repayment history. Your reported credit accounts will be detailed here, showing how you’ve managed them, as well as any outstanding balances. This account repayment information typically goes back about six years, and will be assessed by lenders during a credit check – helping them come to an informed and responsible lending decision.

Published on 12 Aug 2020 by George Coburn

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Default Notices could be sent to consumers, even where a payment holiday is in place

Consumers across the UK could be set to receive intimidating ‘Default Notices’ in the post, even though they have opted to take an FCA and lender approved payment holiday.

Published on 11 Jun 2020 by Richard Catlin

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Why a good Credit Rating is a bit like a VIP theme park pass

Getting approved for a new credit card or loan could be about to get more difficult, as lenders tighten their belts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Published on 20 May 2020 by Richard Catlin

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Virtual House Viewings for the self isolating home hunter

Virtual house viewings are soaring in popularity among house buyers as the UK government brings in tough measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Among these changes is a shift towards reducing the size and number of social gatherings and a requirement for people to only leave their homes if absolutely necessary. Entire industries are entangled in the coronavirus’ grasp and these protective measures, while rightly designed to diminish the impact and spread of the virus, will inevitably have a knock-on effect that goes way beyond socialising.

Published on 14 Apr 2020 by Sam Griffin

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Can you still get a credit card during coronavirus?

Credit cards are increasingly in demand as the coronavirus pandemic develops across the world. Since the start of March, UK Googlers have been searching for ‘credit’ at rapid rate and it’s no surprise why. Workers across the country are finding their employment and income uncertain amid the financial challenges posed by Covid-19. Many will inevitably lean on credit and financing for a little more purchasing power during this period of uncertainty.

Published on 7 Apr 2020 by Sam Griffin

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Lloyds and Nationwide to offer coronavirus mortgage payment holidays

Lloyds Banking Group – which includes Bank of Scotland and Halifax – is just one lending organisation that’s offering to help ease financial pressure on customers impacted by the recent coronavirus (Covid-19). Mortgage payment holidays are the most talked about measure, but there’s a host of other measures for renters and credit card customers too. Worries over debt repayments are understandably widespread, as the virus continues to damage not just the health of workers across the UK but businesses and share prices overall.

Published on 19 Mar 2020 by Sam Griffin

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Everything you need to know about buy now pay later

One of the latest trends in retail is the growing popularity of buy now, pay later schemes. The premise of buy now, pay later is exactly as it sounds, allowing shoppers to delay and stagger payment for a product that they can take home immediately.

Published on 2 Mar 2020 by Andrew Brown

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Child maintenance court records to show on your credit report

Since March 2015, The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has been sharing information with the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies. This means missed Child Maintenance payments can be flagged up on a late payer’s Credit Report, potentially harming their Credit Rating and making a successful credit application – whether a mortgage, credit card, or loan to name a few – even more tricky.

Published on 20 Jan 2020 by Kirstie Brown

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How Far Back Can I get my Credit History?

For your recent payment history information, your Credit Report has everything you need; that’s why it’s given so much importance by lenders whenever you apply for credit. But if you’re looking for information that’s six years old or more, it’s probably not be the best place to start.

Published on 10 Jan 2020 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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