How The Electrical Industries Charity can help you to look after your financial well-being during COVID-19

During the pandemic a lot of us have re-assessed our finances. Our financial landscape has completely changed. Those who are furloughed are learning to budget with 80% of their wage while others may have been made redundant. The self-employed have also been hit with the financial ramifications of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic the Electrical Industries Charity have seen an increase in people coming to the charity for emergency assistance or financial advice. A staggering 22% of the electrical and energy sector lives week-to-week and their already low income may have been affected even more by coronavirus.

The Electrical Industries Charity welfare team have been on hand to answer the helpline calls from the industry offering advice, signposting and financial services.

The Charity understand the importance of financial well-being in relation to your own mental health and want to help you make it a priority.

The charity have received a lot of calls from industry members wanting financial advice. Steve, the owner of a small electrical firm, wanted to manage his outgoings with a limited income and a growing family. The welfare team spoke to Steve about various options. During the pandemic many banks are offering ‘mortgage holidays’ to support their customers. Steve’s bank were able to offer Steve a mortgage payment holiday of three months meaning he did not have to make any mortgage payments. This was a temporary financial relief for Steve and meant he could stop outgoings of over £550 a month. The charity welfare team helped Steve to put together a budget for the rest of his income and outgoings. Steve found that although it won’t be easy him and his family could live comfortably despite the pandemic. The Electrical Industries Charity was a supportive ear for Steve and provided guidance to help him keep financially well.

For those who have been struggling with debt prior to the pandemic this time has worsened their circumstances. Mo came to the Electrical Industries Charity unable to find his feet. He had several loans, including two pay-day loans, and owed some family members small sums of money. Mo had been keeping on top of his repayments until he was furloughed from his electrical wholesaler job. Mo contacted the charity to understand what support he may be eligible for. The Electrical Industries Charity spoke with Mo about his repayments and his other outgoings. The welfare team advised Mo to prioritise his repayments and focus on getting the essential debts paid first. The team then referred him to StepChange, a debt charity which helps create manageable debt repayment plans between creditors and debtors. StepChange helped Mo to create repayment plans with each of his creditors meaning he could pay back only what he could afford during this period. Mo has since returned to work and has increased his repayments. If the Electrical Industries Charity can’t help, they can point you towards an organisation which can and still support you while you attain assistance from them.

For others the coronavirus pandemic has meant their finances have been completely depleted. Ross had finished his apprenticeship and had started his own small electrical business in November 2019. When the pandemic began Ross discovered he wasn’t eligible for furlough. With limited income Ross was unsure on what to do so contacted the Electrical Industries Charity. The Charity awarded Ross a small emergency financial grant and helped him to apply for universal credit as well a mortgage holiday. The Charity also then helped Ross to apply for a ‘bounceback loan’ to help his new business stay afloat. Ross has now managed to return to work and his finances have begun to stabilise.

The Electrical Industries Charity champion financial well-being and are here to help you understand your finances. If you are struggling with your finances or would like some support please contact the charity welfare team on 0800 652 1618 or support@electricalcharity.org.

www.electricalcharity.org

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