Sharon McDougall - 14th April 2020 - 2 minutes to read
A total of 1.2 million homeowners across Britain have successfully applied for and been granted mortgage holidays by their lenders over the course of recent weeks.
Mortgage holidays were offered to borrowers on an urgent basis in response to the coronavirus crisis which has left millions of people across the country suddenly struggling to make ends meet.
The figures on the subject have been compiled by UK Finance, the banking industry body, with the data suggesting that one in nine mortgages are now subject to a payment holiday.
Remarkably, around 61,000 mortgage holidays were agreed each day between March 25th and April 8th as more and more people found themselves in urgent need of some form of financial relief.
Mortgage lenders first announced on March 17th that they would be offering customers affected by the COVID-19 crisis the chance to ask for a mortgage holiday and by April 8th around 1.2 million households had taken up that option.
The figures from UK Finance are being taken as an indication of just how much financial strain households across the country are currently under, with millions of people having seen their incomes threatened or lost entirely due to the virus situation and the resulting lockdown.
For the average borrower, a mortgage holiday amounts to the suspension of £260 worth of interest payments per month and represents a welcome degree of financial relief.
Providers of personal loans and credit cards were recently told by the Financial Conduct Authority that they should be offering their customers who’ve been impacted by coronavirus a debt holiday, while banks have been instructed to offer access to £500 worth of interest-free overdrafts.
“Mortgage lenders have been working tirelessly to help homeowners get through this challenging period,” said Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance.
“The industry has pulled out all the stops in recent weeks to give an unprecedented number of customers a payment holiday, and we stand ready to help more over the coming months.”
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