As this is a constantly evolving situation, with many unanswered questions, it is important that you speak to us before taking any action; we are currently agreeing, where appropriate, payment holidays of up to three months for all of our customers who have been affected by Covid-19.
As you can probably imagine we are experiencing extremely high call volumes, with wait times often in excess of 60 minutes. We’re available to help all our customers and our team are doing their best under difficult circumstances, but we need to be able to speak to those in the most vulnerable situations first, so we would ask you to think about how urgent your call is before making it. If you are worried about your ability to pay your mortgage, please call our team five days before your monthly payment is due.
To help alleviate any concerns you may have about how Covid-19 may impact your ability to pay your mortgage today or in the future, we have developed some frequently asked questions, which we hope will help provide the reassurance you may be looking for.
Frequently asked questions
Covid-19 has affected my ability to make my mortgage payment; when should I call you?
Please call us five days before your mortgage payment is due; this will help our team speak to those customers who need help at the right time.
I am affected by Covid-19, can I have a payment holiday?
If you or your family are affected by Covid-19, and you will struggle to pay your mortgage payment, please speak to our team so we can discuss the best option for you, which may well be a payment holiday; however, it is important that you speak to our team and formally agree the best option for you, to ensure there is no detriment to the current position of your credit record.
Will you give me a three-month payment holiday?
The situation is evolving so quickly that we think it is important to maintain regular contact with our customers, which is why we would like to assess your situation. A payment holiday is a way to defer your monthly instalment, but it will still be payable in the future and your account will still accrue interest; which means a three-month payment holiday may not be the best option for everyone.
What is a payment holiday and how does it work?
A payment holiday will mean that you will not have to make your monthly mortgage payment for an agreed period; the monthly payment is deferred to a later date. It’s important to remember you will still owe the money and interest will continue to accrue whilst the deferred payments remain unpaid.
How will a payment holiday impact my mortgage?
Your monthly instalment(s) will be deferred, interest will still accrue on your account and payment for the deferred monthly instalment(s) will be required later.
Should I pay something rather than nothing?
If we agree a payment holiday with you and you can then afford to make a part payment, you should consider doing this as it will reduce the amount of interest that accrues and the overall amount outstanding at the end of the agreed period of payment deferment.
How will you expect me to make up the deferred monthly instalment(s) after my payment holiday?
We will review your circumstances at the time and work with you to find the best solution. For example, we may consider:
- adding the deferred instalment(s) to your outstanding mortgage balance (capitalising the amount), so you can pay it over the remaining term of your mortgage,
- agreeing to a short-term payment arrangement to clear the deferred instalment(s) over several months; or,
- extending the original term of your mortgage.
Will a payment holiday have a negative impact on my credit record?
If you are currently up to date with your mortgage payments and we agree a payment holiday with you due to the Covid-19 virus, then we will continue to report your mortgage account in the same position.
Are payment holidays available for Buy-to-Let customers?
Yes. If you are a Buy-to-Let customer who is currently up to date with their mortgage payments and your tenants are impacted by Covid-19, a payment holiday may be an option available to you. Payment holidays are being provided on the understanding that this relief will be passed on to your impacted tenants.
I’ve agreed a payment holiday with you, but I’ve logged into my account online and the payment is showing as due and outstanding?
Please bear with us, we are working through the technical nuances of offering payment holidays to our up to date customers. We can assure you that if you have agreed the payment holiday with our team, your payment is not due, your credit record will continue to be reported as in the same position as the previous month. We will update your online mortgage account as soon as possible.
I’ve agreed a payment holiday with you, but I have received unexpected correspondence; what should I do?
Please bear with us, we are working through the technical nuances of offering payment holidays to our up to date customers. We can assure you that if you have agreed the payment holiday with our team, your payment is not due, and your credit record will continue to be reported as in the same position as the previous month. Please ignore any correspondence that notes otherwise.
Questions for our customers already struggling with payment arrears
What happens if I’m already in arrears and are affected by Covid-19; can I have a payment holiday?
If you or your family are affected by Covid-19 and you’re concerned about the impact on your income, please speak to our team as soon as possible. We will review the changes to your circumstances and look at what options may be available to you, including a payment holiday.
What will happen to my credit record if I’m in arrears and I agree a payment holiday?
If you are currently in arrears and agree a payment holiday with our team due to the Covid-19 health emergency; your mortgage account will be reported as in the same position as the previous month. This means your arrears position will not worsen whilst you are in an agreed payment holiday.
I’m already in arrears and concerned that my situation is not going to improve; will you repossess my home?
No. On the 19 March 2020, we placed all repossession action on hold for three months.
Are you still charging arrears management fees?
No. We are temporarily waiving arrears management fees for all customers.
I received a letter telling me that you will be taking legal action against me; is that right?
We are currently working through our automated processes to stop our system sending certain automated letters. If you have recently received a letter stating that we will be taking or starting legal action against you, please rest assured that on the 17 March we placed all legal action on hold for one month and we continuously monitor the situation.
What happens next month, will you be reviewing your position on legal action again?
Yes. We are constantly reviewing the situation and closely following guidance issued by the government and our regulatory body. Please check back here for regular updates.