Santander to contact mortgage customers coming to the end of their mortgage payment holidays with a range of support options
Customers are encouraged to pay what they can afford and online budget tools are available
Customers can agree reduced payment plans, or extend their payment holidays for both residential and buy-to-let for up to three months
Four month early transfer to new mortgage deal available with no penalty to customers
8 June 2020– PRESS RELEASE
From today, Santander will be proactively contacting all customers coming to the end of their repayment holiday to provide a range of options that can be tailored to suit their current situation. Customers do not need to do anything until they are contacted by the bank when they will be given a simple online process to follow to access the right support. Letters, emails or text messages will be sent to customers at least ten days before their new mortgage payment is due to be taken.
In line with the guidance from the FCA, the bank will be offering extended support for customers on mortgage payment holidays for customers until 31 October 2020. It has also committed not to carry out any repossession activity before 31 October 2020. These measures will cover buy-to-let mortgage customers as well as residential mortgage customers.
To further support customers who feel they may now be in a position to start paying a portion of their monthly mortgage, Santander has introduced reduced monthly payment plans and an online mortgage budget planner for customers to assess their income and expenditure. For those who may be returning to a more stable financial position, there is also the option to overpay from as little as £10 per month to start reducing the impact of a payment holiday.
Santander is also allowing customers currently on a payment holiday to apply to transfer to a new mortgage deal four months ahead of the end of their existing term with no penalties, enabling them to cut costs if they move to a lower rate.
The measures will be made available to customers as their existing arrangements come to an end and Santander is urging people to wait to be contacted to ensure that phone lines and other support channels are kept free for those in most urgent need.
Customers who have not previously had a mortgage payment holiday will continue to be able to apply for one online or by phone up until 31 October 2020.
Brad Fordham, Head of Mortgages at Santander said: “We are contacting customers so we can make sure that going forward they know the options available and the impact of the decisions they make around their mortgage. If people can pay anything towards their mortgage it’s better than nothing, which is why we are offering a reduced payment plan as well as an online tool to review income and expenditure.
“There will also be many customers who now feel comfortable returning to their regular payments and some may even want to take advantage of on-line overpayments to start reducing the impact of their payment holiday. It’s important that people do the best thing for their own particular circumstances both now and in the longer term.”
More detail of the measures are as follows:
Payment holidays and repossessions
Until 31 October 2020, Santander will continue to support customers whose mortgage payment holidays are coming to an end and who have been financially impacted by Covid-19. The bank will also continue to pause repossession activity ensuring that no-one will lose their home. For customers whose payment holidays are expiring, Santander will be in contact to provide details as to what options are available to them.
Support for buy-to-let mortgage customers
Santander has committed that extended payment solutions and stay on repossession activity will be available for buy-to-let customers as well as residential mortgage customers. This can help landlords support tenants who may have been impacted by Covid-19.
Reduced payment plans
Customers who are unable to make their full monthly payment will be able to set up a reduced payment plan on their mortgage until 31 October 2020. The reduced payment plan will not impact a customer’s credit file. During a reduced payment plan, Santander will not collect the customer’s existing direct debit so customers should set-up either a standing order or faster payment to make the reduced repayment to their account. Reduced payment plans are available to residential and buy-to-let customers and can be from one to three months in length.
Budget planning tool
For customers needing more than short term support, Santander has introduced an online budget planning tool which allows customers who would like extra help in understanding their money, to quickly and easily review their income and expenditure and how much they can currently afford to repay towards their mortgage. The form is submitted online, where it can be accessed by Santander’s experts who can talk through options with the customer. We will also provide the customer an option of completing the Money Advice Service budget planner. A free tool on the Government website, which also offers free and impartial financial advice.
Product transfers up to four months early
Customers on a payment holiday can apply to transfer their current mortgage product to a new deal up to four months before the end of their existing product term. Where the customer is moving to a lower interest rate, Santander commits to transferring them immediately with no charge. Customers can review available mortgage products and complete a transfer via their online banking portal.
For customers who are in a position to return to their regular mortgage payments, and may even feel that they want to start paying back some of the payment holiday, Santander has an online mortgage tool that allows fee-free overpayments from as little as £10.