Information for customers affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

You won’t now be able to apply for a payment holiday because of coronavirus. All payment holidays because of coronavirus had to end by 31 July 2021. If you are still having problems making your mortgage payments, please read the information below about how we may be able to provide you with continued support. You can also call us to discuss options that, depending on your circumstances, may be available to support you.

If you took a payment holiday because of Coronavirus you may find the information below useful.

Reminder – How did the payment holiday work? How did it impact my account?
During the payment holiday you deferred some or all of your monthly mortgage payments for a set amount of time. Interest continued to accrue and be charged to your account, which means that, unless you have taken action to repay the deferred payments and interest since the end of your payment holiday, your outstanding balance has increased.

Where you have a capital repayment mortgage, in most cases we expect that the interest accrued during the payment holiday and the deferred capital repayments, will be paid by spreading them over your remaining term. Where you have an interest-only mortgage, in most cases we would expect that the interest accrued during the payment holiday will be added to the balance you owe at the end of the term. With a part and part mortgage, we would expect these treatments to be applied to the relevant parts of your mortgage.

In all these scenarios, you will be paying interest on an increased balance and as a result, your monthly payments since the end of the payment holiday will have increased. You will also pay a greater total amount of interest over the term of the mortgage.

What if I am still struggling to make payments?
If you are continuing to have difficulties making your mortgage payments, we have other options available to provide you with continued support. These may include:

  • A temporary concessionary arrangement – allowing you to pay a reduced contribution towards your monthly payment, for an agreed period. The shortfall in your monthly payments will fall into arrears which could lead to additional fees being charged and notification of the level of arrears being reported to credit reference agencies. The arrears would also need to be repaid later, through a further payment arrangement.
  • A temporary conversion to interest only (only applicable if you have a repayment account) – the monthly payment could be recalculated to just cover the interest that is due, for an agreed period. At the end of the temporary conversion your payments will be recalculated again. As the unpaid capital will be getting repaid over a shorter term, this will cause a further increase in your future monthly payments.
  • Extending your mortgage term (only applicable if you have a repayment account and where mortgage terms and conditions allow) – the monthly payment will be recalculated and will reduce because your balance is being repaid over a longer period. However, this option will also increase the amount of interest you have to repay overall.

If you can’t make your full mortgage payments, we’ll need you to provide income and expenditure information so that we can assess your circumstances and how we may be able to provide you with continued support. You can provide us with your information online here. If you haven’t used this service before, you’ll need to register to log in to provide your information securely. If you’ve used this service before, please use your existing log in details.

You may find it useful to have your bank statements, wage slips and utility bills to hand to help you to provide accurate information. We’ll need details of your current net income (after any deductions like tax or National Insurance), your expenditure and any other debts you have.

Please note – if you have more than one mortgage with us, our online income and expenditure tool may not be suitable for you as it currently works on an individual account level and does not apply where you have a portfolio of properties.

If you prefer you can call us to provide your income and expenditure details over the phone instead.

Where can I find help with budgeting and finances?
If you are worried about money or debts you need to set a realistic budget. Make a list of your debts and work out which ones are highest priority and which are less important. For most people, it makes sense to pay essential expenses and priority debts before any discretionary expenses or non-priority debts.

MoneyHelper (formerly the Money Advice Service) has developed a Money Navigator tool, designed to help people whose finances have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), such as those facing redundancy, self-employed or freelance workers whose income has been affected and people who have experienced a temporary drop in their income.

The tool will also help users find support from other organisations such as National Debtline, Citizens Advice, PayPlan, StepChange and others.

You can also find out what services are available across the UK, including what face to face support is available in your local area using the Debt Advice Locator tool, designed by MoneyHelper.

The StepChange debt charity has also published a reduced income guide to help people with a reduced income to deal with their finances, such as making arrangements with creditors. We recommend you read this and take any action you need to sooner rather than later.

See our ‘Help with Financial Difficulties‘ page for details of other independent not-for-profit organisations, including Citizens Advice and MoneyHelper, for further guidance on money, debt, housing and employment.

Do I have option for paying back the deferred payments?
You do have options for paying the deferred payments (on a voluntary basis). These may include:

  • Single lump sum overpayment – repaying all deferred payments in a single payment.
  • Partial lump sum overpayment – repaying some deferred payments in a single payment with only the remaining deferred payments being paid over the remaining term of your account.
  • Monthly agreement to pay – you can offer to pay more than your new monthly payment to reduce the deferred payments on a monthly basis. How long it takes to repay the deferred payments will depend on how much you offer to pay each month in addition to your monthly payment.
  • Partial lump sum overpayment followed by a monthly agreement to pay – repaying some deferred payments in a single payment followed by an offer to pay more than your new monthly payment to reduce the remaining deferred payments on a monthly basis.
  • Extending your mortgage term (only applicable if you have a repayment account and where mortgage terms and conditions allow) – the monthly payment will be recalculated, reverting to approximately what it was prior to the payment holiday. However, this option will also increase the amount of interest you have to repay overall.

What happened to my credit file?
Whilst we worked on the basis of industry and government guidance to ensure that the payment holiday did not adversely impact your credit file, we cannot guarantee how other lenders will interpret the payment holiday when assessing any future lending decisions. Lenders may take other information into account when making future lending decisions, including, for example, information provided by you as an applicant and about your bank account.

If your account was up to date at the start of your payment holiday, then your credit file will continue to reflect this status, as long as you have kept up with your monthly payments since the end of your payment holiday.

If you were in arrears at the start of your payment holiday, then your credit file will have continued to reflect the same arrears status during the payment holiday as immediately prior to it.

Repaying pre-existing arrears
If your account was in arrears before your payment holiday, you will need to make arrangements to repay these. We will always provide a reasonable amount of time for you to repay the arrears.

If you are not in a position to clear the arrears in full, but are able to pay your full monthly payment as well as making monthly contributions towards them, then we can consider a payment arrangement with you that takes account of your circumstances. We will need to update your income and expenditure information so that we can assess your circumstances to provide you with continued support.

You can also provide us with your information online here. This facility is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have not used this facility before then you will need to follow a simple process to register and login before you can provide us with your information. After you have provided details of your income and expenditure we will contact you to discuss a payment arrangement with you.

Please note – if you have more than one mortgage with us, our online income and expenditure tool may not be suitable for you as it currently works on an individual account level and does not apply where you have a portfolio of properties

You can also call us  to provide your details or if you would like to speak to us about your circumstances and options.

OTHER INFORMATION

Further information that may be of use to you if you are impacted by the coronavirus at this time.

Help with payment difficulties
Please see our main Help with payment difficulties page for help and support.

The StepChange debt charity has published a reduced income guide on their website that aims to help people deal with a reduced income due to the coronavirus.

Other ways to make your monthly payment
Perhaps you are having trouble making your monthly payment because of the latest movement restrictions or illness / isolation. To discuss any alternative payment options that may be available, please contact us.

Getting a third party to help you manage your account
In addition to any payment difficulties you may be experiencing please tell us, as soon as possible, if there is anything else that we need to be aware of, or consider, when administering your account.  This may include any specific issues you are facing that is causing your payment difficulties or that may be impacting your ability to communicate with us regarding your account.
If you are finding it too difficult to manage your account during this period, or would simply like additional support in dealing with your account from a third party (such as a friend or family member) you may wish to consider setting up a third party authority to allow us to deal with someone who is able to assist you in respect of your account.

Please note: If you wish the nominated third party to act for you and other borrowers named on the account, they will be required to sign the form also. In addition, please ask your nominated third party to complete their details and provide a signature in the relevant sections of the form.

Where the nominated third party is an individual their signature confirms they have received a copy of our Privacy Notice which can be accessed here. Please ensure they receive a copy of this or notify them where this can be accessed.

To enable a third party to obtain information and/or make payments on your behalf to your mortgage account with us, please complete and sign the Third Party Authority form and return it to:

Zephyr Homeloans, Gateway House, Gargrave Road, Skipton, BD23 2HL

CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR WELLBEING

Mental Health
The mental health charity MIND has produced a helpful guide – Coronavirus and your wellbeing – which aims to provide information to support anyone who is feeling anxious about coronavirus. It might be helpful to those who are self-isolating or working from home.

Domestic Abuse
Since the lockdown began, there has been a significant rise in incidents of domestic abuse.  The Government has issued guidance on their website to support victims of domestic abuse and launched a social media campaign to publicise the availability of support – #YOUARENOTALONE.

It is estimated that 95% of domestic abuse victims also experience economic abuse. If someone else is controlling your finances or stopping you from controlling your finances, the charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support on their website.

Be aware of scams
Unfortunately, fraudsters are using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to defraud individuals. Take Five is a national campaign that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. They have published a scam alert on their website to help individuals spot and avoid scams in relation to coronavirus.

More information about the Covid-19 virus
Details of the Government’s response to coronavirus can be found on the UK government website.

Please note: the above content includes links to websites operated by external third party organisations and, as we do not have any control over the content of these external websites, we cannot accept any responsibility or liability in respect of the material provided to you on such websites.