'Gap months' for mortgages let homeowners take a breather

16 March 2007
Growing numbers of mortgage lenders are permitting homeowners to take 'payment holidays' within their mortgage deal, giving them a brief respite from the strain of making monthly repayments, MoneyExpert.com has revealed.

Where only 409 products offered this 'gap month' facility six months ago, there are now 629 such deals to choose from, representing 56.3 per cent of all mortgages on the market.

These scheduled breaks from repayment are a welcome development, according to MoneyExpert, showing greater flexibility from lenders.

"You'd think that the mortgage is the last thing you'd be allowed to let slip, but lenders want you to stay on the straight and narrow," MoneyExpert chief executive Sean Gardner commented.

But they are awarded only to homeowners with a good track record on punctual repayments, the advice site warns.

Moreover, lenders are likely to look for evidence the homeowner's financial situation has abruptly changed through redundancy, for example, or with a new addition to the family.

Mortgage providers offering mortgage holidays to customers who may one day need them include Nationwide, Halifax, Northern Rock and Lloyds TSB.

To learn more about flexible mortgages, click here.

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