Lenders Announce Mortgage Repayment Holidays
The UK seems to be bracing for the impact the coronavirus could have on the economy. With the Bank of England reducing interest rates, statutory sick pay beginning from the first day of isolation, now mortgage providers have announced repayment holidays for those affected by the virus.
High street lenders, RBS, NatWest, TSB, Virgin Money and Santander have all announced that customers impacted by the virus can have mortgage repayment holidays.
RBS and NatWest have announced their customers can defer payments by up to three months, with TSB offering two months.
However, there’s no ‘set in stone’ rule of how the virus has to ‘affect’ a customer before they qualify for the payment holiday. As a result, lenders are looking at each case on its own merit, as opposed to adopting a one size fits all approach.
A spokesperson for RBS and NatWest, said:
“We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.
“We understand that there may be circumstances where a personal customer may fall into financial difficulty as a result of the impacts of coronavirus, for instance, loss of income.
“We will look to understand each customer’s situation on a case-by-case basis and can offer a number of options to help them manage their finances. We would encourage any customer experiencing financial difficulty to get in touch with us.”
Virgin Media are looking at customer cases individually to determine what mortgage repayment holiday they could be entitled to.
Santander have also offered customers the ability to defer or reduce payments if they’re affected by the COVID-19.
Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, said:
“Mortgage lenders don’t live under a rock. They know that coronavirus is causing severe uncertainty.
“They’re also aware that as a result of the outbreak, some customers might be unable to make their monthly mortgage repayments. Following Italy’s nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, payments on mortgages are to be suspended across the country.
“In the UK, we’ve already seen a number of lenders offering customers payment holidays on their mortgages and other loans if coronavirus means they face difficulties paying because of loss of work.
“Borrowers who are worried about coronavirus and what it might mean for their mortgage should get in touch with their lender as soon as possible to discuss their options.”