SPF Private Clients: Lenders should be applauded for implementing mortgage holidays

Jessica Bird

April 14, 2020

mortgage payment holidays

Commenting on the news that one in nine mortgages are now subject to a mortgage holiday, SPF Private Clients said that lenders have been key to implementing government policy in the face of COVID-19.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Lenders should be applauded for enacting government policy within a relatively short period of time, particularly as it has been a big draw on their resources.

“The mortgage is typically most people’s biggest monthly outgoing. For someone with income or employment issues brought on by the pandemic, a payment holiday can be invaluable in covering short-term cashflow issues.

Nevertheless, in the face of news that 1.2 million mortgage holidays have been granted since the policy was announced on 17 March, Harris urged caution among the remaining borrowers across the UK.

He said: “Borrowers should remember that this is not ‘free’ money. During the payment holiday, interest is added to the mortgage and will be owed afterwards.

‘With approximately 11 million mortgages in the UK, there is potentially some way to go in agreeing a mortgage payment holiday for everyone who needs it.

“But not all borrowers have been affected to the same extent by coronavirus, so if you are able to do so, consider maintaining your mortgage payments at the usual level or even partial payments.

“Speak to your lender first before making any decisions with regard to taking a payment holiday.

“Agree to a way forward and remember not to cancel anything until it has all been agreed – otherwise, it could impact your credit rating, which could cause you issues long after we return to ’normal’.”

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