Martin Lewis on mortgage holidays: ‘If you don’t need it, don’t do it’ – extension doubts

Martin Lewis, 48, has been analysing all of the coronavirus support packages in recent months, determining their effectiveness and suitability. As he confirmed today, mortgage holidays are, in his opinion, the “least worse” option.

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One viewer named Mark rang in to ask a straightforward question which will concern a lot of people at the moment.

He asked Martin if he should take a mortgage holiday or continue to just pay his mortgage with the accompanying interest.

Martin responded with an equally straightforward answer: “With all payment holidays, I wouldn’t take them unless you need them.”

He went on to analyse the costing element of taking such a holiday.

He explained that taking a mortgage holiday doesn’t just get rid of the payments for a while.

It will simply defer the costs, which will be higher once the holiday completes: “You don’t pay now but you pay later with interest.”

He continued: “If you don’t need it, don’t do it.”

Thankfully, even if mortgage holders are unsure about what to do for now they still have some time to evaluate and take action.

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Martin highlighted that the mortgage holiday scheme will still be open for “a good month or so”, meaning people can take advantage of the scheme if their situations deteriorate in the coming weeks.

However this was also coupled with somewhat of a warning.

Martin warned: “I don’t see the scheme being extended” which could mean that mortgage holders may struggle as we move into the summer months.

This would be a contrast in stance if it proves to be true as the government have recently extended their furlough scheme.

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While Martin feels that the mortgage holiday scheme will not be extended, it should be highlighted that this is in contrast to what Rishi Sunak has stated in recent months.

When announcing the scheme in mid-March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer assured the country that he will do whatever it takes to keep the economy going, a sentiment he has expressed repeatedly: “Last week, I set out an initial economic response in the Budget.

“I promised to do whatever it takes to support our economy through this crisis – and that if the situation changed, I would not hesitate to take further action. That is what I want to begin doing today.”

Regardless of what the future holds for the mortgage holiday scheme, the current rules are still in place and it is still possible to apply for it.

There is detailed guidance online on how the scheme works and the Money Advice Service has a page dedicated to what will be needed.

On this page, they have detailed explanations for the following concerns:

  • What your lender will discuss with the applicant
  • Information a lender should provide
  • Information for people already behind with mortgage payments
  • Eligibility for a mortgage payment holiday and
  • A pros and cons list for taking one

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