Homeowners who have taken mortgage payment holidays to help them weather the financial impact of coronavirus may be able to extend their breaks by three months, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed.
The mortgage payment holiday scheme was launched in March to help those whose incomes have been hit by the pandemic. So far, more than 1.8m mortgage payment holidays have been taken up, with the first of these due to finish at the end of June. The FCA has called for lenders to contact customers approaching the end of their payment holidays and to offer those who are still struggling financially a three-month extension of their payment holiday.
Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive at the FCA, said: “Our expectations are clear – anyone who continues to need help should get help from their lender. We expect firms to work with customers on the best options available for them, paying particular attention to the needs of their vulnerable customers, and to provide information on where to access help and advice.
Where consumers can afford to re-start mortgage payments, it is in their best interests to do so. But where they can’t, a range of further support will be available.”
Anyone who hasn’t yet applied for a mortgage payment holiday but who is experiencing financial difficulties will have until 31st October to do so, the FCA announced. The current ban on home repossessions will also continue until this date.
Options which may be offered to borrowers include taking a full or partial payment deferral, extending their mortgage term so that their payments will be at the same level they were prior to taking a payment break, or temporarily moving to an interest-only rather than repayment mortgage.
Lenders are gradually increasing their product ranges, so if you are simply looking to reduce your monthly outgoings, get in touch with us today to see if you can save money by switching to a better deal.
Mortgage payment holiday scheme extended