Over the past six months, the proportion of mortgages with payment holidays has increased from 50.8% to 56.3%. The number of products with this facility has grown from 409 to 629.
Platform has been offering payment holidays on flexible self-cert products for more than three years. It says that even if customers rarely have to use the facility, it provides a welcome safety net for certain borrowers.
Paul Hunt, head of marketing at Platform, says: “The option of offering mortgage payment holidays is a mechanism that lenders can use to offer greater flexibility and choice.
“It can be particularly useful for people who have irregular income patterns such as salespeople on part-bonus salary structures.
“We have found that surprisingly few people use this option but it does give borrowers peace of mind and so remains popular.”
Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert.com, says: “Of course, a holiday from paying monthly doesn’t mean a holiday from paying interest – that will still roll up on your mortgage until it’s paid off.
“But in an uncertain climate, the attractions of a flexible mortgage with the option of a payment holiday are obvious.”