The 31st of October is not just Halloween; it's the last day you can make an application to your mortgage lender for an official payment holiday. Since April this year, over 1.9 million borrowers have taken advantage of the scheme, which has allowed borrowers to defer their mortgage payments for periods of one to six months.
Without a doubt, this scheme has proven to be a real lifeline for many borrowers. Many customers may have fallen into arrears with their mortgage payments, and arrears have a direct impact on borrowers' credit scores and the ability to take out any form of credit or credit-based services. We wrote about problems obtaining credit a little while ago here.
However, new applications and extension requests for the scheme close this Saturday. If you haven't used the payment holiday yet or need to extend your current holiday, then you MUST contact your lender by the 31st of October.
So what happens if you aren't able to extend your payment holiday or you miss the deadline for a new application?
The majority of mortgage borrowers are expected to start repaying in full again once their payment holidays end, and if possible customers are encouraged to make over-payments to ensure any interest penalties are minimised. But for those who can't, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said mortgage lenders should continue to offer support with a range of support options, including waiving or reducing payments. Lenders are being urged to consider "tailored" support based on individual circumstances, rather than the one solution payment holidays offered since March.
If you think you may struggle to keep up repayments on your mortgage, loan or credit card, do not ignore the issue. Go online or pick up the phone to your lender and find out what help might be available from them.
While the fixed repayment holiday didn't impact your credit file; assistance provided in the new support from your lender will show on your credit report. This may make it more challenging to access credit in the future; however, by not taking any action, it could lead to a default, CCJ or repossession, which will damage your credit file. Lenders are keen to help and taking action is the first step to a positive outcome.
At Greenshoots Financial, we can offer you advice around restructuring debts or help you find a new mortgage product to lower your outgoings. You may also be paying more than you need to for your life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection. We will review any existing policies you may have to see if we can improve your cover and/or save you some money.
The key thing is - help is available; please call our friendly compassionate brokers on 01506 537111 or email email@example.com.