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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Supporting you through the coronavirus pandemic

As the coronavirus continues to affect us all, you may be worried about the impact on your finances.

We’re here for you if you have concerns about your money or any accounts you hold with us and our aim is to find solutions that suit your individual needs and circumstances.

The welfare and safety of both our customers and colleagues is the most important thing to us and we’ll continue to make sure you’re supported. We work hard to keep your money safe, so this includes us helping you to be fraud aware.

Staying alert to fraud

Unfortunately, fraudsters may try to take advantage of you and the current situation. It’s really important you’re aware of anything potentially suspicious, such as messages about coronavirus, trying to sell you good and services, including those claiming to be from your bank or building society. Criminals are very good at impersonating people and organisations.

A few basic rules to remember are:

  • We will never ask you for your full PIN or password;
  • We will never ask you to move money from your accounts;
  • Never click on links or download attachments as fraudsters might infect your device with malware, or enter personal details for anyone or any website you don’t trust;
  • Never feel pressured into sending money to someone, or deal with someone you don’t know or are unsure about;

If it seems too good to be true, you are unsure, or feel uncomfortable, say no. Taking the time to stop and think, or refuse a request will not be a problem with something that is genuine.

 

Mortgage payment holidays (also known as payment deferrals) and what happens next

 

Understanding mortgage payment holidays (also known as payment deferrals)


You may be eligible to apply for a payment holiday if you have been directly or indirectly impacted by Covid-19.

Payment holidays can be taken for up to 3 months at a time, cannot be longer than a total of six months, and must have been applied for by 31st March 2021 and has finished by 31st July 2021.

After 31 March 2021, you can extend an existing payment holiday until the 31 July 2021 as long as your request does not go over the six month limit and there are no breaks in the payment holiday.

How to Apply

If you haven’t already taken a mortgage payment holiday, think you would be eligible and would like to apply for a payment holiday, complete the form below or call us.

If your account is in arrears, you may be eligible but we'll need to talk to you to assess this.

You have already had a mortgage payment holiday (deferral)

If you have already had a mortgage payment holiday and want to apply for a another you will have to wait until you have come to the end of your existing payment holiday and have received a letter from us outlining the impact it has had on your mortgage.

Once you’ve received your letter if you would like to apply for a further payment holiday please complete the form below or call us.

If you can afford to re-start your mortgage payments it’s in your best interests to do so.

You have already had a total of six months of mortgage payment holidays (deferrals)

If you’ve already taken a total of six months of mortgage payment holidays please do not fill in the form for another as it will automatically be declined.

If you’re still worried about meeting your future mortgage payments please call us on the number below as soon as possible, to talk through your options.

You can talk to us

If you’re worried about meeting your long term financial needs then a payment holiday (deferral) may not be the best option for you. This is because during the payment holiday period interest will continue to be charged and your mortgage balance will increase. If you’re already in arrears or facing long term difficulty it’s really important you talk to us before applying for a payment holiday.

If you think you would be eligible and would like to apply for a payment holiday (deferral), complete the:

Mortgage payment holiday (deferral) request form

We aim to respond to your request within 7 working days but please bear with us as we are experiencing high volumes.

Although we try to help as many customers as possible, there will be some cases where a payment holiday (deferral) may not be available to you.

To help us process your payment holiday request, we may need to call you to talk about your finances to help us understand your current financial situation. This will include discussing details of any regular source of income and any regular expenses.

You can also cancel an existing payment holiday at any time by calling us. Cancelling your payment holiday early would have a positive impact on your future monthly mortgage payments.

 

Coronavirus FAQs

I’m worried about the impact of Coronavirus on my finances. What support are you able to offer?

We’re committed to supporting our customers who may be affected by Coronavirus. If you have been impacted by Coronavirus, we’ll try and support you in whatever way we can. You can get in touch with us here.

If anything changes, will you let me know?

We’ll let you know on our website, social media or via email if we hold a valid email address for you. If we change the hours our phone lines are open we’ll let you know on the website too.

Where can I find the latest medical information about coronavirus?

You can find the latest advice from the NHS here and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) here.


If you’re concerned about meeting your next month’s payment

What is a mortgage payment holiday (deferral)?

A mortgage payment holiday is a deferral of your monthly mortgage payment. You are able to take a break of up to 3 months at a time (6 months in total) if your finances have been impacted by coronavirus.

Once the agreed mortgage payment holiday (also known as a deferral) has finished, you will be sent a letter confirming your new monthly payments, which are likely to have increased. This is because interest on your mortgage will continue to be charged during the period of deferral and your total mortgage balance will increase.

Therefore, if you’re worried about meeting your long term financial needs then deferring the payments / taking a payment holiday may not be the best option for you. If you’re already in arrears or facing long term difficulty it’s really important you talk to us before applying for a payment holiday.

Do you have a payment holiday (deferral) policy in place for borrowers who cannot make their mortgage payments due to Coronavirus?

If you are worried about meeting your mortgage payments, we can offer a variety of solutions, including payment holidays (deferrals). If you wish to request a payment holiday you can do that online here or by calling us on 0800 138 2401 (Residential) and 0345 848 0225 (BTL). You don’t need to provide any documentation; you will just need to self-certify that your income has been either directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19.

If you’re worried about meeting your long term financial needs then a payment holiday may not be the best option for you. This is because during the payment holiday period interest will continue to be charged and your mortgage balance will increase. Therefore, if you’re already in arrears or facing long term difficulty it’s really important you talk to us before applying for a payment holiday.

How long can payment holidays (deferrals) last for?

The option of a payment holiday (deferral) for up to three months is available for customers who are experiencing issues with their finances as either a direct or indirect result of coronavirus.

You must be up-to-date with your payments to be considered for a payment holiday. If your account is in arrears you may still be eligible but we will need to talk to your to assess your circumstances.

If you haven’t yet taken a payment holiday you will be able to apply up to 31st March 2021 for a payment deferral of up to three months. You can do this via our online form here.

If you have already had a payment holiday but you’re still experiencing difficulties paying your mortgage due to coronavirus, you can request a further payment holiday for up to three months (a maximum of 6 months in total). You will receive a letter from us which will arrive within 15 days of the payment holiday end date. This letter will outline the impact of your original payment holiday and the other options of support available to you. If you can afford to re-start your mortgage payments it’s in your best interests to do so.

What evidence will be required to qualify for a coronavirus payment holiday (deferral)?

You don’t need to provide any documentation; you will just need to self-certify that your income has been either directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19. If you are a Buy-to-Let landlord, you will need to self-certify that your tenant’s income has been impacted by COVID-19. Landlords are expected to pass on this relief to their tenants to ensure that they are supported during this time.

How quickly can a decision typically be reached?

We are doing our best to support all customers during these unprecedented times. However, the spread of COVID-19 is likely to have an impact on staff levels and applications will be dealt with as quickly as possible. At this time, please only contact us if you have concerns about immediate payment. This ensures we can help those who are in most need.

Once the payments are rolled onto the main balance, will the term be automatically extended or the monthly payments increased?

Customers will still owe the money where a payment holiday has been granted and interest will still accrue, so if you are able to make part of your normal mortgage payment to reduce the money you owe or your interest charges then you should consider doing so.

At the end of the original three month payment holiday we will recalculate your monthly payment based on your outstanding mortgage balance and remaining term. It is very likely your payments will increase particularly if you have a shorter term left on your mortgage.

My mortgage payment holiday (deferral) is ending soon, what should I do?

If you have taken a mortgage payment holiday (deferral), you will receive a letter in the post from us which will outline all the options available to you.

These letters are being issued a month before the payment holiday is due to end, but allowing for any postal delays, we would expect the letter to arrive 15 days before your next payment is due. To ensure our contact centres can support those customers who need it most, you do not need to contact us unless you have not received a letter and your payment holiday is due to end within the next two weeks.

The letter will confirm:

  • Your mortgage payment holiday end date
  • Your new monthly payment and how it has been calculated
  • Your projected mortgage balance at the end of the payment holiday

It will also outline what next steps you can take, including what to do if your employment status has changed, if you think you might have difficulty making your next payment or if you feel a payment holiday wasn’t the best option for you and you would like to pay back the missed payments by a different means.

Throughout the letter, contact numbers are listed to ensure you can speak to the right department to discuss your chosen next steps.

If you can afford to re-start your mortgage payments it’s in your best interests to do so.

When you have come to the end of your existing payment holiday and received this letter you’ll be able to apply for a further payment holiday up to three months online if you still cannot afford your monthly payments.

Understanding the impact of your payment holiday (deferral)

If you’re applying for a further payment holiday (deferral) or you’re applying for the first time, it’s really important you understand the impact of this deferral (payment holiday you’ve already taken) on your future payments and what a further payment break will mean for your mortgage. You can either call us on 0800 138 2401 (residential) or 0345 848 0225 (BTL) and we can provide you with an estimated illustration or you can use our calculator within the online mortgage payment request form. Please note the figures we show you are based on some assumptions, such as you having only one interest rate on your mortgage. If you have multiple parts the calculator will assume all the parts have the same interest rate and term as well as repayment type. If you have more than one interest rate or term, you can check if this is the case on your latest mortgage statement or checking your mortgage account online, you should use the following when you do your calculation:

  • The highest interest you’re paying
  • The shortest term you have
  • Tick the repayment type with the highest balance (if part Interest Only and part Repayment)
  • Input the shortest term remaining

Please be aware that this illustration does not include any mortgage payment protection insurance premiums collected with your mortgage payment. If you would like us to assist you with the illustration, call us on 0800 138 2401 (residential) or 0345 848 0225 (BTL). The payment the calculator will give you is based on the above assumptions, the accuracy of the information you provide and therefore may differ to the actual payment calculated at the end of the payment holiday.

Here are some examples of how a payment holiday can affect monthly payments and the total amount payable for repayment and interest only mortgages. The examples shown below are for a three-month payment holiday:

Current outstanding mortgage balance - £210,000

  Repayment Interest only
Current outstanding mortgage balance £210,000 £210,000
Interest rate 2.42% 2.42%
Months remaining on deal 36 36
Standard Variable Rate 4.49% 4.49%
Term remaining (years) 24 24
Current monthly payment £960.37 £423.53
New monthly payment after payment holiday £973.68 £426.09
Monthly increase £13.31 £2.56
Total amount to repay without payment holiday £330,400.92 £422,272.26
Total amount to repay with three month repayment holiday £332,056.86 £423,549.22
Total increase £1,655.94 £1,276.96

Current outstanding mortgage balance - £150,000

  Repayment Interest only
Current outstanding mortgage balance £150,000 £150,000
Interest rate 1.99% 1.99%
Months remaining on deal 60 60
Standard Variable Rate 4.49% 4.49%
Term remaining (years) 15 15
Current monthly payment £963.12 £248.76
New monthly payment after payment holiday £981.99 £250.00
Monthly increase £18.87 £1.24
Total amount to repay without payment holiday £188,042.45 £232,284.09
Total amount to repay with three month repayment holiday £188,777.48 £232,689.37
Total increase £735.03 £405.28

Current outstanding mortgage balance - £50,000

  Repayment Interest only
Current outstanding mortgage balance £50,000 £50,000
Interest rate 1.99% 1.99%
Months remaining on deal 60 60
Standard Variable Rate 4.49% 4.49%
Term remaining (years) 6 6
Current monthly payment £736.14 £82.92
New monthly payment after payment holiday £766.28 £83.33
Monthly increase £30.14 £0.41
Total amount to repay without payment holiday £53,159.38 £77,428.03
Total amount to repay with three month repayment holiday £53,287.11 £77,563.12
Total increase £127.72 £135.09

If your current mortgage holiday has ended, you can apply for a further mortgage payment holiday here:

Mortgage payment holiday form

How will the non-payment be recorded with credit reference agencies?

The unpaid interest from your payment holiday will still be recovered later, but individual credit ratings will not be affected. However, it’s important to know that credit files aren’t the only source of information which lenders can use to assess creditworthiness.

I requested a payment holiday (deferral) but I’ve not heard anything yet, what should I do?

As you might imagine, we’ve had quite a large number of requests for a mortgage payment holiday (deferral). We're currently prioritising these requests by mortgage payment due date. You'll receive confirmation that we have processed your request as soon as possible but please bear in mind if your due date is not for a few weeks it may take longer than 7 working days.

I've applied for a payment holiday (deferral) but my Direct Debit has been taken, what do I need to do?

If you've had confirmation from us that your payment holiday has been approved, the quickest way to get a refund is to ask your current account provider to reject or recall the direct debit request.

If you've yet to receive confirmation from us that your payment holiday (deferral) has been approved please do not arrange to reject or recall the payment until your payment holiday request has been processed and we have provided formal approval.

If your Mortgage Payment Holiday request has been approved and a direct debit payment has been taken for December, your mortgage payment holiday will start in January.

How can we get in touch?

As the situation is changing very quickly, please check the website in the first instance for the latest updates and if you need to get in touch for urgent support, please call 0800 138 2401 (Residential) and 0345 848 0225 (BTL). As we are experiencing a larger than normal volume of calls, we ask that you only contact us if you have concerns about immediate payment to ensure we can help those who are in most need.

 

In progress mortgage applications

What happens to my existing application?

We will look to apply the above rules to our pipeline cases to progress as many of these as possible. Pipeline cases where we cannot use desktop valuations or AVMs will remain in the pipeline until a physical valuation can be carried out.

We will be in contact with you shortly to confirm whether we can proceed with your application.

I’ve exchanged contracts, but have been told my move will be delayed. Will my mortgage offer run out?

Given the current social distancing measures, we understand many house moves will need to be delayed.

We want to support you at what’s a very anxious and uncertain time.  So, if you need it, we can extend your mortgage offer for up to three months.

If your circumstances change during this three month period or the terms of the house purchase change significantly, we’ll need to review the offer, to make sure it’s still right for you.

If you think your offer will need to be extended, please speak to your broker in the first instance.

What is the current Land Registry situation and what does it mean for my mortgage application?

England and Wales

The Land Registry is open but experiencing delays in completing any changes to the register. In most cases, this will not impact the time it takes the mortgage to complete. On a very small number of cases, something may need to be updated on the register prior to completion which results in completion being delayed.

Scotland

The Land Registry in Scotland remains closed, however alternative measures have been put in place to allow solicitors to submit registration applications electronically. In most cases, there will be no impact on the time it takes the mortgage to complete. On a very small number of cases something may need to be updated on the register prior to completion which results in completion being delayed due to slower turnaround times at the Land Registry.

Northern Ireland

The Land Registry is open but experiencing delays in completing any changes to the register. In most cases, this will not impact the time it takes the mortgage to complete. On a very small number of cases, something may need to be updated on the register prior to completion which results in completion being delayed.

Do you accept Local Authority Search Indemnity Insurance?

Yes, our underwriters continue to accept Local Authority Search Indemnity Insurance. Whilst Local Authority searches are an essential part of the home buying process, these can sometimes be delayed. If, after discussing your situation with your conveyancing solicitor, you decide to take out this type of insurance, we will accept it* to enable us to proceed with your mortgage application.

* subject to the provisions laid out in the UK Finance Lenders handbook which your conveyancing solicitor will confirm.

 

 

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