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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have been on the phone tonight to apply payment holiday

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I have been on the phone tonight to apply for a payment holiday with my mortgage provider as I want to try & reduce my credit card debt. I have quite a lot of credit card debt at the moment & I am looking at lots of different ways to reduce it. I have tried applying for new credit cards to do 0% balance transfers to try & lower costs but get turned down. A payment holiday would save me £600 so I could get a chunk of one card paid with that. I believe I am entitled to it. I was on the phone for over half an hour whilst they did my "affordability" asking me various questions regarding my outgoings & expenditure which I was prepared for & had information to hand. What I wasn't expecting was them asking if the credit cards I use have a variable or fixed rate? They want to know how often I use them & on what? I didn't know about the rates so couldn't continue the phone call. Are they allowed to ask for such personal information from people? I have to say it made me feel very "frowned upon" & "judged" by a worker there & that they were wanting to pry into very personal information. Could someone please tell me if this is normal practice when applying for a simple payment holiday? Thank you. Alison
Hello Alison my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Do the terms of the mortgage allow for a holiday? Is it a right or subject to checks?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex

Thanks for your reply. The person on the telephone did say I was entitled to a payment holiday but it was subject to an affordability test. I understood this to be a list of monthly bills, hire purchase/loan agreements & credit/store card bills so I had the information ready. I didn't expect what felt like an "interrogation". They wanted to know if all my cards had fixed or variable interest which I don't know from the top of my head & what items & how often I used my credit cards. I use them when short of cash & that can vary. Thank you. Alison

Would it be difficult for you to provide the details?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex

No it wouldn't, but I felt very interrogated by them & that they want to pry into too many personal details. I just want to know if they have that right, that's all? I may very well withdraw the application as its mot worth the hassle. I have an endowment I can surrender. Thank you. Alison

Ok, there is no right as such to a payment holiday. Clearly they will have to carry out an affordability check as they are doing,
The difficulty they have is that you are increasing mortgage secure debt (by taking a holiday) to decrease unsecured debt (credit card debt).
In effect they need to be satisfied their security is not at risk which is why they are asking for the details. Is it unusual - yes. But in this case you are using the lenders holiday to pay off existing unsecured debt so I can see why they want it.
Sadly you can't stop them carrying the assessment out as it is all about risk and whether or not by allowing you to increase your debt with that lender, does it expose them to more risk.
I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.