During the beginning of the U.K.’s lockdown period, a near 1.8 million households took advantage of the three-month mortgage payment holiday as a means of support during this difficult time.

The mortgage payment holiday scheme saw around 20% of the U.K.’s total population benefit from its offerings, which not only included a break from mortgage payments, but also other financial support products such as credit cards, personal loans, interest-free overdraft facilities and more.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have confirmed a second term of mortgage payment holidays will be made available if the U.K. are hit with a second wave of COVID-19, and subsequent lockdown measures reappear.

Interim chief executive of the FCA Christopher Woolard confirmed:

 

“Clearly, if there are further restrictions that need to be placed for health reasons; if the situation becomes
more complicated in some way, then we’ll have to think about how we adjust to those circumstances,”

However, whilst a second mortgage holiday is now on the cards if a second wave were to appear, Woolard expressed that 50% of those who used these payment holidays initially were now able to make payments:

“About half of that group are people who perhaps thought they were going to lose a job or have some
other kind of impact, and in fact they’re in a position where they could still afford to pay now that that
ninety-day period is coming to an end,”

“It’s everyone’s best interest to actually get back towards payment wherever that is possible or even
partial payment, but we have to recognise that there’s an ongoing situation here,”

 

Specialist finance provider at OctagonCapital Dan Kettle commented: “Taking mortgage payment holidays
might seem like a healthy way to keep your finances in track and it certainly plays an important role for a
lot of homeowners. However, you may look to remortgage at some point or maybe even apply for a new
mortgage altogether if you plan to move home soon.

“With mortgage providers only getting stricter with their criteria, you probably don’t want to have any
payment holidays on your credit report, so if your job and income is stable, you should ideally try keep up
with payments and avoid holidays if you can.”