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One in six borrowers freeze mortgage payments

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More than 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays have been given to homeowners suffering financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

One in six mortgages (17%) are now subject to a payment holiday, data from trade body UK Finance revealed.

As of 28 May, 1.86 million mortgage payment holidays have been granted for both residential and buy-to-let mortgages.

For the average mortgage holder, the payment holiday amounts to an average £755 per month, with average interest payment deferred each month standing at £260.

The figures come as the city regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, announced that from Thursday 4 June, borrowers will be able to apply for a further three-month mortgage payment holiday.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the mortgage payment holiday scheme on 17 March and since then, lenders have been inundated by requests to freeze payments as Covid-19 threatens livelihoods and adds pressure to finances.

Stephen Jones, UK Finance CEO, said mortgage lenders are committed to supporting their mortgage customers through these difficult times, but warns it will always be in the borrower’s best interests to pay their mortgage if they are able to.

“A payment holiday may not be the right choice for everyone, and borrowers should only apply if they need one. Any borrower who is concerned about their financial situation should check with their lender as early as possible, with providers’ website giving the latest information on the support available,” he said.

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