The latest figures released by UK Finance have revealed that there has been a rise in the number of borrowers accessing Covid-19 mortgage payment relief, with one in seven mortgages in the UK now subject to a payment holiday, a rise from one in nine two weeks ago.
According to the data, over 1.6 million mortgage payment holidays have now been offered to homeowners who have been affected by the crisis, with almost 700,000 payment holidays granted so far in April.
Normally customers on payment holidays would not qualify for a product transfer, but lenders are agreeing to waive this rule to help borrowers impacted by Covid-19. Product transfers are for like-for-like mortgages and tend not to require a new affordability assessment, meaning existing borrowers who have been furloughed will also be eligible.
Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, said: “Lenders understand that many households are seeing their finances squeezed due to the coronavirus pandemic and we are working hard to help customers get through these tough times.
“The industry has acted quickly to support homeowners through this crisis and has taken decisive steps to ensure that eligible customers on payment holidays due to Covid-19 can opt for the security of fixing their monthly mortgage payments going forward.
“There is a range of support available to mortgage holders concerned about their finances. We would encourage any homeowners impacted by coronavirus to visit their lender’s website in the first instance to find out more information and how to apply.”
Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA, added: “This agreement builds on the commitment made by lenders in July 2018 to contact customers who are coming to the end of a mortgage deal and discuss what alternative options might be available.
“It offers additional – and no doubt welcome – reassurance that customers will not be penalised if they have sought an approved payment holiday during this difficult period.”