All customers deserve equal treatment and excellent service from their finance provider. However, many worry they’ll be treated poorly or turned away from finance if they disclose their vulnerability, either to their dealer or their finance provider.
This isn’t the case, and finance providers have policies and assistance in place to make sure all customers receive necessary support. Customers sharing their vulnerability should be protected, not persecuted.
Disclosing information to a provider should always be the first step. Close Brothers Motor Finance has put together three tips below to help customers be better prepared in the face of the cost-of-living crisis:
Take stock of your finances
With the UK in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, the current economic conditions present challenges for peoples’ finances. Taking stock of your finances and budgeting appropriately could save you some stress.
Taking some time to review your finances can help to prevent situations which might stop you from fulfilling your finance agreement. It’s also worth checking whether your agreement is on a fixed rate, so that you aren’t caught unexpectedly by any rising costs.
It’s also a useful exercise for those looking to purchase a vehicle. Going over your monthly outgoings properly will allow you to define a suitable budget for a finance agreement. Always allow yourself some leeway so that you’re not stretching your money and cutting your outgoings a little fine, which will also allow you to put some money aside for savings or use in an emergency.
Talk to your finance provider
Finance providers have a duty of care to their customers and are on hand to offer support. The thought of talking if you’re having any issues can be scary, but your provider will have support procedures in place to make sure they can do their best to help and find a solution that suits both parties.
If you are experiencing issues that may affect your agreement or know that you are going to struggle to make a payment, talking to your provider should always be your first step. Facilities and policies are in place to help you, rather than penalise you. Depending on your circumstances, that might include reducing your monthly payment for a while and agreeing a payment plan, changing the date when your repayment is due, or receiving guidance on the best place to seek further advice.
Disclose any vulnerabilities and difficulties
We understand that people may be hesitant to share any information about vulnerabilities or difficulties such as disabilities; often for fears of discrimination or worries that it’ll impact any applications. However, finance providers are there to support you. They will deal with everything on a case-by-case basis and will be best placed to support individuals and meet their needs if they have all available information to hand from the get-go.
Not sharing important information could actually work against you and pose a problem should any issues arise.