UK Finance: Lenders continue commitment to support mortgage customers

Jake Carter

January 20, 2021

Industry analysis suggests that eight in 10 customers have now returned to making full mortgage repayments after taking a mortgage payment holiday, according to UK Finance.

There were 130,000 mortgage payment deferrals in place at the end of December 2020.

As a result this means that that one in 84 mortgages in the UK were subject to a payment deferral at the end of last year, compared to one in six in June 2020.

The number of mortgage deferrals in place has been broadly stable since late October, after declining from a peak of 1.8 million in June 2020.

The banking and finance industry remains committed to supporting mortgage customers facing financial difficulties with new or extended payment deferrals and tailored support, outlined UK Finance.

It also noted that customers should apply well before their February mortgage payment is due if they want to benefit from the full deferral period of up to six months.

Eric Leenders, managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, said: “Millions of people whose finances have been impacted by the pandemic have already received support from their lender through a mortgage payment deferral.

“With new lockdown restrictions in place, the banking and finance industry is continuing to help customers through these challenging times, including by providing tailored support appropriate to their needs.

“It will always be in the long-term interest of borrowers to resume making payments if they are able to do so.

“However, for anyone who is still struggling ongoing support will be available, and so we would urge customers to contact their lender to discuss their options before missing a payment.”

Mark Gordon, director of mortgages at comparethemarket.com, added: “It’s a reassuring sign for the wider UK economic recovery that many households who took advantage of the mortgage payment holidays offered at the start of the pandemic are now returning to paying in full.

“They may have had a positive change in their circumstances and no longer need the relief, or if they took a payment holiday “just in case”, they may now feel more financially confident and want to make repayments on the balance before the interest builds up.

“While it seems the impact of the pandemic could continue to hit household finances long after the current lockdown lifts, these figures show there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

“For those still struggling, banks will continue to provide payment holidays so it is worth contacting your mortgage provider to discuss your options.”

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