- Debt Awareness Week 22 – 28 March 2021
- Nearly 500,000 in rent and mortgage arrears
- Mortgage payment holidays deferral ends on 31 March 2021
For the first time since the pandemic hit, normal service will start to resume as financial payment holidays wind down and nearly nine million Britons who have taken on debt during the pandemic will need to start tackling their debt repayments.
Hot on the heels of Debt Awareness Week (March 22-28), March 31st will be the last day that homeowners can ask for a mortgage payment deferral. The UK’s community bank, Metro Bank is advising any homeowner concerned about being able to return to normal payments to talk to their mortgage provider as soon as possible.
Recent published data estimates close to half a million people are in rent or mortgage arrears because of coronavirus and 130,000 UK households are still taking advantage of mortgage payment holidays, which is of concern as 16 million people expect their income to fall in the next six months.
Andy Piggott, Director of Lending Products, Metro Bank. “We recognise that homeowners have faced extraordinary circumstances impacting their finances and we are here to help. We want to talk to our customers who are struggling and encourage them to contact us as soon as possible. Anyone worried about how they are going to start paying their bills again should be proactive in seeking support. Good lenders will want to work with their customers to help find a manageable solution.”
Metro Bank has put together these top tips to tackle any financial worries:
TALK TO YOUR LENDER
Good lenders want to help. If you can’t resume your payments, they can look at a range of options including:
- Short term options, such as accepting reduced payments for an agreed period of time.
- Long term options, such as extending your mortgage period to reduce payments.
- Good lenders will explain the impact of what the tailored support means for you and your mortgage, including what will be reported on your credit file and whether you will be considered to be in arrears during any agreed arrangement.
FREE DEBT ADVICE
These organisations offer free help about budgeting and can give advice on how to talk to your lender about your repayments:
- The Money Advice Service – moneyadviceservice.org.uk
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau – citizensadvice.org.uk
- StepChange – stepchange.org
- National Debt Line – nationaldebitline.org
- Shelter – shelter.org.uk
SUPPORT FOR MORTGAGE INTEREST
If you are on state benefits – income support, pension credit, job seeker’s allowance, universal credit or employment or support allowance – you may be able to get government help for interest payments on your mortgage - visit gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest for more information.
For more information please visit - https://www.metrobankonline.co.uk/mortgages/i-want-some-information-about/mortgage-payment-support/
 After 31 March 2021, homeowners can extend an existing payment holiday up until the 31 July 2021, as long as: it doesn’t go over the 6-month payment holiday limit and there are no breaks in the support. Homeowners are eligible to apply if they have not already had payment holidays of six months overall.
 Resolution Finance
 UK Finance