1.2 million mortgage payment holidays offered to customers affected by Covid-19

Over 1.2 million mortgage payment holidays have been offered by lenders to customers impacted by coronavirus, UK Finance has revealed.

The trade association suggested that action by lenders means one in nine mortgages in the UK are now subject to a payment holiday.

On 17 March, mortgage lenders announced they would be supporting customers facing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis, and new figures revealed the number of payment holidays in place more than tripled in the two weeks between 25 March and 8 April, growing from 392,130 to 1,240,680.

This was an increase of nearly 850,000, which UK Finance highlighted as an average of around 61,000 payment holidays being granted by lenders each day.

For the average mortgage holder, UK Finance also indicated the payment holiday amounts to £260 per month of suspended interest payments, with many benefitting from the option of extending the scheme for up to three months.

UK Finance CEO, Stephen Jones, commented: “Mortgage lenders have been working tirelessly to help homeowners get through this challenging period. The industry has pulled out all the stops in recent weeks to give an unprecedented number of customers a payment holiday, and we stand ready to help more over the coming months.

“We understand that the current crisis is having a significant impact on household finances for people across the country. Lenders have a number of options available to help, and payment holidays aren’t always the right solution for everyone.

“We would therefore encourage any mortgage customers concerned about their financial situation to check with their lender so they can find out more information on the support available and how to apply.”

UK Finance urged mortgage borrowers whose financial situation has been affected by Covid-19 to contact their lender to discuss whether they are eligible for a mortgage holiday, and highlighted that those requiring a mortgage payment holiday will need to self-certify that their income has been either directly or indirectly impacted by the coronavirus.

Building Societies Association CEO, Robin Fieth, added: “We know that this is a difficult time for many homeowners with a mortgage and building society staff have been working hard to offer individuals the right solution.

“For almost quarter of a million so far, that has been a three month payment holiday offering a much needed breathing space to families whose household income is under severe pressure during the current crisis.”

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