At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government promised that all borrowers would be allowed a three-month mortgage payment holiday if they needed it. Most lenders followed the Government’s guidelines and did their best to help their borrowers during these hard few months.
We have thought carefully about the possibilities of what could happen to your Mortgage over the next few months. We are working very closely with all of our lenders to ensure that if anything changes, we can inform you right away and recommend the best option for you to take so that you still feel secure and happy with your Mortgage.
We feel that it is best to summarise what mortgage payment holidays are, what lenders are doing, and who can provide you with help and guidance through these next few months.
Mortgage payment holidays are an agreement entered into with your bank, building society, or mortgage lender to defer your monthly mortgage payments for a set period. In this case, 3-months.
It does not mean you never have to pay the amount back, but the interest you defer gets added to the loan amount, while your capital balance will not decrease. In other words, your mortgage amount will increase slightly, and you will continue to attract interest on the whole amount.
When you are ready to continue the payments, this could mean that your monthly payments get recalculated at a slightly higher level, or your mortgage term gets increased somewhat. Most lenders will probably prefer not to extend your mortgage term as this could take you past their standard retirement ages, but the detail on this will follow in due course.
Dependent on your mortgage deal, you may be able to pay off a lump sum later in the year to bring your Mortgage back to where it would have been.
Mortgage Payment Holidays are available both for those with residential or buy-to-let mortgages, which means landlords also have assistance if rental payments are affected.
The full proposal is in detail below:
• Mortgage lenders will offer an automatic 3-month mortgage payment holiday for customers impacted, directly or indirectly, by COVID-19.
• The mortgage payment holiday will apply to customers who are up to date on their payments, not in arrears, and wanting to self-certify that COVID-19 impacts them.
• This means that lenders will not complete an income and expenditure assessment or evaluation of alternate payment options as ordinarily required under MCOB.
• This proposal will allow lenders to be more responsive to customer needs and offer forbearance in a simple way to customers in an environment where COVID-19 also impacts the operation of collections teams made.
• Customers will be made aware that interest will accrue in the holiday period, and they will need to make up deferred payments in the future.
• Customers who wish to undertake a full assessment of their ability to pay or financial difficulty may still do so.
We would recommend speaking to your Mortgage Advisor in Birmingham. They will assess your financial situation first before looking to defer your payments as your situation may not yet be pressing.
You are approaching a Mortgage Broker in Birmingham like us, will allow you to explore all of your current mortgage options and could make things feel a lot less stressful.
In some cases, a mortgage payment holiday can harm your credit score, but most lenders have now said that for issues linked to the virus, they will ensure that this is not the case.
You must ask this question to your lender directly and record the response, including the date and the name of the person you are speaking to avoid confusion later. Different lenders are doing other things.
At first, everything seemed like it would remain the same, and you would still be able to make changes to your mortgages as usual. However, this has changed in the last couple of days, and lenders have been asking borrowers to avoid making changes whilst you are within a mortgage holiday period. So, at the moment, they are not allowing mortgages and product transfers.
Borrowers nearing the end of their existing product may get forced to move on to the higher lenders variable rate. It might mean that borrowers who act too early could find themselves on a mortgage payment holiday that accrues interest on a costly variable rate.
We would highly recommend speaking to your Mortgage Advisor in Birmingham, and they will determine the best course of action based on your personal and financial situation. If possible, arranging your mortgage transfer first then asking for the holiday would seem to be the most sensible way forward.
At the moment, no Lenders have withdrawn mortgage offers; in fact, some are extending offers past the standard six-month expiration date.
It would help if you did not pull out of your purchase unless, for example, you are worried about losing your job as a result of Coronavirus. We are advising everyone to proceed as usual for now and “wait and see” – you are not committed to completing your purchase until contracts get exchanged.
In some cases, lenders can offer you a temporary switch to interest-only to reduce your monthly payments but not to add any further to the loan amount by still servicing the interest payments each month.
It may not be necessary to convert all your Mortgage to interest only, and it may be that putting part of the Mortgage on this basis could give you the breathing space you need.
People with savings may find that remortgaging onto an offset basis could give them a helping boost they were looking for, and they will be cutting down on their monthly payments whilst keeping hold of their savings.
For example, someone with a £400,000 loan and £100,000 in savings would only pay interest on £300,000. Either way, this will massively reduce their monthly mortgage payments.
For others, a straight remortgage to another lender, calculating the cost of any early repayment charges, may well be enough to ease the burden or simply extending the term of your Mortgage.
If you still have any other questions on mortgage payment holidays or want general Mortgage Advice in Birmingham, give us a call today. We want to help you and your mortgage journey through these tough few months ahead. Speak to an experienced Mortgage Advisor in Birmingham today.