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Is a mortgage holiday worth it in the long run?

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 2nd May 2024 - 2 minutes to read

How do mortgage holidays work?

When you take a mortgage holiday it means you’re deferring the payments until a later date. Under the current conditions, you can apply for a payment break on your mortgage for up to six months.

Your lender will explain how the missed repayments can be made – this might be by increasing monthly payments for a fixed period, for example, or adding the total sum missed to the end of your mortgage.

If your remaining mortgage term is lengthy, the additional amounts may have less impact on your monthly repayment when you begin making payments again; however, taking a mortgage holiday will still cost you more in interest over the life of the loan.

Should the remaining time of your mortgage be shorter, however, your new monthly repayments could be significantly higher following the mortgage holiday as there will be less time available to repay the missed payments.

Also bear in mind that interest on the missed payments continues to accrue during a mortgage holiday. Sometimes lenders also offer the ability to pay only capital or interest payments for a period, to relieve the financial pressure on customers.

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Is it worth applying for a mortgage payment break?

In some cases a mortgage holiday will be essential to prevent the loss of a home. It offers valuable support when finances are so affected that perhaps bankruptcy is the only end result, or the damaging effects of debt on a homeowner’s mental/physical health are too much.

If you can meet your mortgage repayments, however, it’s advisable to do so even if other creditors such as credit card or store card companies are given a lower priority. Scotland offers various debt remedies where unsecured debts have become unmanageable.

Deferring payments does have implications for your financial stability in later months as you need to make them at some point, so in the long run it may not make sense to take a mortgage holiday.

How to decide if a mortgage holiday is worth it

If you’re unsure whether to apply for a mortgage holiday, it’s advisable to seek professional debt help – perhaps from a debt charity or licensed insolvency practitioners (IPs). Scotland Debt Solutions offers free same-day meetings and can quickly assess your best options.

In reality, a mortgage holiday only defers payments for up to six months - it’s intended to provide temporary breathing space for homeowners in severe financial difficulty rather than be a long-term solution to serious debt problems. It will always cost more in the long run, but in some cases is vital to prevent repossession whilst easing immediate financial pressures.

Formal debt solutions available in Scotland, such as the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) or Scottish Trust Deed, could help you to restructure your other debts, thereby freeing up money to keep up with your monthly mortgage repayments.

For more information on whether a mortgage holiday may be worth it for you in the long-term, please call our team of licensed insolvency practitioners. Scotland Debt Solutions specialises in helping Scottish residents deal with debt, and can provide the reliable guidance you need.

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Sharon McDougall Square

Sharon McDougall

Manager

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