Nearly 60% of home owners eligible for mortgage holidays

MoneyExpert.com is urging home owners to check the terms of their mortgages because 58% could be eligible for a break from their monthly payments.

The comparison site says more than half of the 2,058 fixed, discounted and variable mortgage products on the market offer customers some form of payment holiday facility.

MoneyExpert.com figures show that the proportion of mortgages with payment holidays is actually on the increase. In September 2006 only 44.5% of fixed and discounted mortgages included payment holidays, but now some 53% are subject to it.

The overall proportion of products with a payment holiday available now rises to 58.5% if variable mortgages are included in the analysis.

Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert.com, says: “Lenders are aware they need to be flexible with their customers and are already ahead of the game – certainly more than the chancellor might have us believe.

“With around six in 10 mortgage products coming with a potential payment holiday written into the terms and conditions, cash-strapped home owners can at least enquire about taking a break.”

Gardner adds: “Taking a payment holiday will need to be agreed with your lender and just because there’s a facility for it doesn’t mean your bank will let you off repayments easily.

“In fact while lenders are struggling your argument will need to be watertight – but banks would rather know you’re under the cosh now and intend to do something than wait until you’re defaulting because you can’t afford the repayments.”