Mortgage and rent payments may be hard to cover if you’re facing a sudden drop in income and you don’t have access to savings.
If you have a mortgage
If you are concerned about reduced income due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders have announced support including a repayment holiday of up to three months. This includes buy-to-let mortgages.
Decisions to offer this support are likely to be made on a case-by-case basis. So, the most important thing is to talk to your lender as soon as you can to discuss your options if you think you could miss a payment. Many banks and lenders are finding their own helpline services are overwhelmed due to the volume of calls. Try visiting their website in the first instance to find out what your bank or lender is doing or advising their customers to do.
There will be a fast track approval process in place and you won’t be required to provide evidence or have an affordability test. So, you should get a quick decision. Remember, any unpaid interest will probably still need to be paid back but you won’t have to worry about any additional fees or charges.
Individual credit ratings should not be affected.
It’s likely the lender will spread your outstanding payments over the outstanding term of your mortgage, so you will see an increase in your monthly mortgage payments once your mortgage holiday has ended. You should consider the impact this will have on your future financial commitments.
Your lender may also offer other options such as increasing the length of your mortgage term or making interest or capital only payments. Speak to your lender or mortgage advisor and get them to explain the options to you.
Being behind with your current mortgage payments does not exclude you from applying for a mortgage holiday.
If you’re renting
The government has announced emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation during the coronavirus crisis. This means your landlord will not be able to apply to the court to start possession proceedings until you have missed rent payments for at least three months.
If you’re still unable to meet rent payments after three months, your landlord should take every step to ensure that you continue to stay in your home. They will be expected to take into account your financial circumstances and try and work an affordable repayment plan with you before they start any proceedings.
If you’re a social housing tenant, talk to your tenancy support officer or housing officer who will be able to support you and work out an affordable repayment plan.
If you’re on Universal Credit and usually pay the rent yourself, talk to your work coach about what they can do to support you to keep rent payments on track.