We need quality advice now more than ever.
In a time of need, it can be difficult to ask for help. Pride, worry, embarrassment and anxiety all play a key role in people's mental health and none more so than when people face financial difficulty.
Many folks in our society will have had their confidence rocked, incomes reduced, or lost, or may be feeling very worried about friends and family at this difficult time. What makes that even more difficult is wanting to help, but not knowing how.
I have always been a great believer in truth and honesty and can tell you from experience that there is nothing like the experience you get as an adviser when a client realises that facing their challenges and seeking support is the first step on the path to getting some control and confidence back.
So many of the population have bought their own homes and may now struggle to keep and maintain them. Fundamentally, keeping your family safe and protected is a basic human need.
During the last financial crisis, the mental health of many people was badly affected.
A large number of people found themselves out of work and faced the prospect of moving from breadwinner to dependant.
That changed family dynamics in fundamental ways, aside from the stress of not knowing if they could afford to keep a roof over their heads. This was devastating to so many families and people really struggled to cope.
>This is an unprecedented time, and the government and the Bank of England are taking unprecedented measures to try to protect incomes and livelihoods.
However, this time round there is more help and therefore hope available. The government has announced support for many which includes:
A three-month mortgage holiday. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said mortgage lenders will offer three-month holidays, ‘so people won’t have to pay a penny to mortgage costs while they get back on their feet’.
Some lenders are offering payment holidays on mortgages and may extend this to loans as well.
Reduction in interest rates. The Bank of England reduced mortgage rates from 0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent on 11 March and then a further cut to 0.1 per cent on the 19 March 2020.
Some lenders are also offering to transfer mortgages to an interest only basis to alleviate expenditure.
Protection from eviction. Tenants are being protected from eviction over the next three months with more measures to follow.
They have also announced support for businesses and the self-employed.
This is an unprecedented time, and the government and the Bank of England are taking unprecedented measures to try to protect incomes and livelihoods.
Helping everybody come out from this in a strong position will aid recovery and ensure fewer people end up in financial hardship.
Questions appear on the last page of this article.