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Struggling mortgage holders told to contact lender

Struggling mortgage holders told to contact lender

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 12/08/2011
First Published: 12/08/2011

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Mortgage borrowers who are struggling to keep up their repayments have been urged to approach their lender for help.

In new research from Which?, around one in seven (14%) mortgage holders admitted they were struggling with their repayments.

But at the same time, only a third of people (36%) who are struggling said they had approached their lender for help.

For people who do seek help, their lender might move the customer from a repayment to interest-only mortgage, allow them a payment holiday or allow them to move to a different deal.

If base rate were to rise by just 1%, over £50 would be added to the monthly repayments of someone with a £100,000 mortgage over a 20 year term.

According to the survey, such an increase would have an impact on three quarters of households: 37% would need to cut back on regular spending, 20% would reduce the amount they are saving and 9% would not have enough for essentials.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said that for some households it would only take a small increase in mortgage rates to send them over the edge.

"If you're struggling with mortgage repayments then your first port of call should be your lender," he added.

"It's not in anyone's interest for people to default on their mortgage, so it's important that lenders do all they can to help their customers who are struggling with repayments."

In more than three quarters (78%) of cases where lenders had been approached Which? said borrowers were offered some form of assistance.

However, it has warned that a 'significant minority' of lenders are not doing enough to help their customers.

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