News | Published July 05 2020

One-sixth of homeowners have taken "mortgage holidays"

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a number of measures when the government first introduced lockdown, including CBILS and the Job Retention Scheme, both of which were set to provide more flexibility to businesses. For individuals, he announced a "stay of execution" on evictions for tenants, while homeowners could apply for a "mortgage holiday".

According to the BBC, one-sixth of homeowners - some two million UK citizens - have taken the government up on this offer.

The holiday, which allows homeowners to defer their mortgage payments, was initially provided for a period of three months, but an extension has recently been announced.

While this scheme allows homeowners some flexibility with payments, there are concerns that it will also have unforeseen consequences.

The holiday scheme was initially announced as not having any impact on credit, but some applicants have found themselves denied for a loan after accepting the payment holiday.

"We know, anecdotally, that people have used them to pay off credit cards, pay for holidays, pay for cars," says Lisa Orme, managing director at Keys Mortgages.

"I've been saying to people, despite all these promises about how it won't affect your credit file, I absolutely guarantee it will come back to bite you."

The FCA have since advised that while there will be no effect on your credit record, the mortgage holiday will still show up when lenders conduct a background check, and that it may lead to your application being denied.

Sarah Coles, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told the BBC: "Banks will look at your payment history. And if you've got a three-month gap around this period, they are going to know that has clearly come from a mortgage holiday.

"If you've got a six-month gap, they are going to know you've had to extend it. And that will give them a really clear indication that you were having some financial issues at the time. So it will then make it harder to borrow."

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Authored by

William Winter
July 05 2020

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