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Helpful Info

Coronavirus Information

We’re here to help you throughout the current uncertainty

We understand that the Covid-19 health emergency continues to impact many of our customers and that you may be worried about your ability to pay your mortgage today, or in the future.

We have updated our frequently asked questions which we hope will provide some reassurance on the additional tailored support options that may be available to you during this difficult time.  We encourage you to call us as soon as possible if you are concerned about paying your mortgage payments, or if you’re coming to the end of a payment holiday and still struggling with your finances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a payment holiday?

A payment holiday is a way to defer your monthly payment until a later date, but you still owe the money, so those payments will be payable in the future.  During a payment holiday your account will still be charged interest, so the longer the payment holiday you take, the greater the increase in the interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage. 

 

I am affected by Covid-19, can I have a payment holiday?

A payment holiday (where a mortgage payment is deferred for a period) can be requested up to the 31 March 2021, but must not exceed a maximum of six months.

If you have not already exceeded the maximum length of six-months, our team will talk you through the financial impact of taking a new or extending an existing payment holiday. This will include how taking a payment holiday is likely to affect your monthly payment amount when you restart your payments.

 

What are rules and restrictions of taking a payment holiday?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), our regulator, have confirmed the following information on their consumer pages:

  • The last date you can apply for a payment holiday is the 31 March 2021, and the payment holiday must end by 31 July 2021.
  • If you are newly affected by a Covid-19 and want to benefit from the full six months available, you should apply for your payment before your February 2021 payment is due. We can only agree to three months at a time, but you can renew in your third month, assuming you do not exceed the six-month limit.
  • If you have already taken a payment holiday which amounts to less than six months, you have until 31 March 2021 to apply for another payment holiday.
  • After 31 March 2021, you can extend an existing payment holiday up until the 31 July 2021 if:
    • It does not go over the six-month payment holiday limit; and
    • There are no breaks in support, you must contact us before your current holiday comes to an end.

If you are not sure whether you are entitled to further payment holidays, or a new holiday please contact us. 

 

What happens if I have already reached the maximum of six months in a payment holiday?

If you have already had six months in a payment holiday and are still struggling financially, we will work with you to find another suitable option to help you manage your mortgage payments, including where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payment or a bespoke payment plan.  Please speak to our team as soon as possible to discuss the best option for you.   

The affects of any further support options will be discussed with you in full including the impact of these options on your credit file.

 

Will you give me a three-month payment holiday?

If you have not already had more than three-months on a payment holiday, you can request up to another three months until the 31 March 2021; all payment holiday requests must be made by the 31 March 2021 and existing payment holidays must not exceed a maximum of six months.

 

How long can I have a payment holiday for?

Payment holidays cannot exceed six-months and must be requested by 31 March 2021. Payment holidays can only be granted up to a maximum of three months at any time, should you require more you will need to contact us again before the final month of your payment holiday ends.

 

What happens if my payment holiday ends and I am still struggling financially?

Please call our team if you think you will struggle to restart your monthly mortgage payments when your payment holiday comes to an end. We have a range of additional support options available including, where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payment or a bespoke payment plan.

The effects of any further support options will be discussed with you in full including the impact of these options on your credit file.

 

How has taking a payment holiday impacted my mortgage?

A payment holiday will mean that you will not have had to pay your monthly mortgage payment for an agreed period; the monthly payment is deferred to a later date. However, you will still owe the money and interest will continue to accrue whilst the deferred payments remain unpaid. The original total cost of your mortgage will also increase as you have not paid your monthly payments on schedule which means your overall mortgage balance has not decreased as expected.

If you can pay your monthly instalment, you should continue to make your payments as this will stop you having to make up the payments later.

Whilst a payment holiday that has been agreed up to the 31 July 2021 will not impact your credit score, you should consider that it may impact your ability to borrow in the future. Some lenders may take account of the payment holiday when considering mortgage applications or requests for further borrowing. 

 

Should I pay something rather than nothing?

If we agree a payment holiday with you and you can then afford to pay any amount, we would strongly urge you to consider doing this as it will reduce the amount of interest that accrues and the overall amount outstanding at the end of the agreed payment holiday.

 

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 to find the best option. 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 we agree a payment holiday with you due to the Covid-19 virus before the 31 July 2021, then we will continue to report your mortgage account in the same position it was at the point the payment holiday was agreed. 

Whilst the payment holiday on your mortgage will not affect your credit record, financial services firms may consider information other than your credit record when deciding whether they will provide you with credit. As a result, the payment holiday could affect your ability to get a new mortgage or take out other forms of borrowing in future, for example car finance or credit cards. 

 

Are payment holidays available for Buy-to-Let customers?

Yes. If you are a Buy-to-Let customer and your tenants are impacted by Covid-19, a payment holiday may be an option available to you up to the 31 March 2021. Payment holidays are being provided on the understanding that this relief will be passed on to your impacted tenants.

Where we become aware that you are not passing on the benefit of the payment holiday to your impacted tenants, we may withdraw the payment holiday.

 

I already have a payment holiday, what should I do as it approaches the end?

We will contact you before your payment holiday ends with an option to get you back on track with your mortgage payments. This could include:

  • adding the deferred amount resulting from your payment holiday to your outstanding mortgage balance (capitalising the amount), so you can pay it over the remaining term of your mortgage,
  • agreeing to a temporary change in repayment method from capital and interest to interest only; or,
  • extending the original term of your mortgage.

If you are still unable to pay your mortgage when your payment holiday comes to an end, we will discuss other options with you, including, where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payments.

 

What should I do if I've experienced a bereavement?

If you need to tell us about a customer who has died, please contact us on 0333 300 0426. We understand that the current lock-down might make the task of resolving their affairs more difficult and we will do all we can to minimise unnecessary stress.


Questions for our customers already struggling with payment arrears

What happens if I’m already in arrears and 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. A payment holiday can be requested up to the 31 March 2021. 

If you have not already exceeded the maximum length of six-months, our team will talk you through the financial impact of taking a new or extending an existing payment holiday. This will include how taking a payment holiday is likely to affect your monthly payment amount when you restart your payments.

 

What happens if my payment holiday ends and I am still struggling financially?

Please call our team if you think you will struggle to restart your payments when your payment holiday comes to an end. They will ask you a range of questions about your financial circumstances and look at the options we have available that best suit your situation. We have a range of additional support options available including, where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payment or a bespoke payment plan.

 

I’ve not paid my monthly mortgage payment, what should I do?

Please call us if you have been unable to make your monthly payment or are worried that you may not be able to afford your next payment. Our team are here to help you and will be able to talk to you about a range of support options available to you.

 

I’ve already not paid several monthly payments and concerned that my situation is not going to improve; will you repossess my home because of my payment arrears?

All repossession action has been placed on hold until 31 January 2021 (other than at the request of the customer). Should you feel that remaining in the property is not right for you and may be causing you financial distress and you would like to discuss how to resolve the position, we can help and would encourage you to contact us on 0333 300 0939.

We will however, try to contact you to discuss your payment arrears with the aim of reaching an affordable arrangement that will help you repay the outstanding arrears balance.  We will also write to you on regular basis to provide an update on your arrears balance.

 

Are you still charging arrears management fees?

No. We are temporarily waiving arrears management fees for all customers.


Helping you deal with broader financial issues

During this particularly difficult period, you may have financial worries that concern more than just your mortgage payments.

There are independent charities and services that can help you work through your financial situation, identify which are your priority debts and help you liaise with all your creditors.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance

The FCA have put together information for consumers on dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes resources on how you can work out your budget.

FCA guidance for consumers


Money Advice Service guidance

The Money Advice Service have put together their guidance on how to deal with or put off any of the financial effects you might be suffering from due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the guidance


Independent Support and Advice

Talking to someone impartial can really help. We've put together a list of a range of different organisations that are there to support you.

Independent advice
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