We all know that nothing stays the same forever (there’s nothing as constant as change, afterall!), that’s why we understand that the mortgage product you might’ve taken out two years ago isn’t right for you anymore, because perhaps your circumstances have changed.

If your financial situation has changed and you’re now looking for flexibility when it comes to making your mortgage repayments, then you might be able to either reduce or stop your payments temporarily, and this is what’s known as a mortgage payment holiday.

Why do people take mortgage holidays?

People often take a payment holiday when there is a short-term change to their finances. For instance, maternity leave, redundancy or other financial commitments such as household or car expenditure. Reducing, or pausing, the mortgage payments during this period can help ease the added pressure until you’re back on your feet and can resume the mortgage repayments again.

Can I take a mortgage payment holiday?

Opting to take a mortgage holiday does ultimately increase the amount you owe to the lender. For this reason, you’ll have to prove that you’re a low-risk borrower and you’re reliable when it comes to making the payments. The lender will be able to judge this from looking into your previous payment history. If you’ve been making overpayments in the past, this will go in your favour as the lender will see the amount of equity you’ve built up in your home, and they’ll be more likely to accept your request for a mortgage holiday. Similarly, if you’re in arrears (you’ve been struggling to pay your mortgage back and have missed payments), then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to request a mortgage holiday.

All mortgage lenders are different and have their own policy requirements that you’ll have to meet, so it’s best to get in touch with your own lender.

Do I have to tell the lender why I want to take a mortgage holiday?

It’s important to always be honest with your lender about your situation and your reasons for wanting to take a mortgage holiday. If you’re honest with them from the start, you’ll benefit the most as they can give you the right advice.

The pros of taking a mortgage holiday

  • Greater flexibility with your finances
  • Breathing space for any other financial commitments you may have at the time
  • If your incoming funds have decreased in the short-term, this can provide some relief

The cons of taking a mortgage holiday

  • Your outstanding mortgage balance will be higher than they were before you took out the mortgage holiday.
  • You still pay interest each month even though you’re not making the payments

If your income has taken a hit permanently then mortgage holidays is not the right option for you. Mortgage holidays are designed to relieve you of any pressure to pay your mortgage in the short-term. If you know you’re going to have ongoing issues with making your mortgage payments for the foreseeable future, you should speak to your mortgage adviser as soon as possible and they’ll be able to recommend a plan of action to help you.

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.