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    Mortgage Payment Holiday with Santander?
    • #1
    • 23rd Jun 10, 12:14 PM
    Mortgage Payment Holiday with Santander? 23rd Jun 10 at 12:14 PM
    Hope this is in the right place

    I'm newly on maternity leave and, having looked at our finances, we're worse off than we'd expected one way and another (long story that I'm trying to cut very short!) and we just cannot afford to pay our mortgage at its current rate.

    I phone Santander months ago to request to go to interest only for the duration of my maternity leave (about 6 months) but I fell between to poles really; I hadn't deferred on my payments (so effectively I was too well off!) BUT my personal debt is too high to consider interest only (so, at the same time, I'm too skint?!) and I was left with the recommendation of "speak to the CAB, arrange and IVA and then come back to us".

    I wasn't AT ALL keen to follow that route unless completely necessary which, at the time, I didn't feel it was. The trouble is, if we don't sort something out with our mortgage then it WILL become necessary

    I REALLY don't want to get myself into the debt management plan/IVA route unless absolutely necessary and - if we can get through the next 6 or so months - then it isn't necessary....

    My question is this really: Does anyone know if Santander would consider a payment holiday of a few months? I don't really understand all my options and am trying to research them *Before* I phone up this time (as last time I felt totally confused and railroaded by the time the call was over and wished I'd researched first so I could ask the right questions instead of being fobbed off).

    Does anyone have experience of this? As I understand it mortgage payment holidays are meant to be for short term reductions in circumstances (which, obviously, maternity leave is) but I know some banks are readier to agree than others.
Page 1
    • beecher2
    • By beecher2 23rd Jun 10, 12:16 PM
    • 3,622 Posts
    • 4,653 Thanks
    • #2
    • 23rd Jun 10, 12:16 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Jun 10, 12:16 PM
    I think you should go onto the debt free wannabee forum and post a Statement of Affairs to get help in saving money elsewhere in your household budget. Authorised arrears should always be the last port of call.
  • opinions4u
    • #3
    • 23rd Jun 10, 12:37 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Jun 10, 12:37 PM
    Beecher's suggestion is spot on.

    It is rare that a payment holiday is a contractual right, and when push comes to show it is basically borrowing money (your missed monthly payments) and adding it to your mortgage debt. But if Santander don't want to play ball (and they don't have to) you need to find other ways to improve income or reduce outgoings.

    The only way you're going to find out for sure is by calling Santander. Don't play on the "I'm skint and can't afford the mortgage" line, simply state that you're on maternity leave and a payment holiday would be great. If they say "yes, no problem" you then need to ask them what the implications are for your credit file. Some lenders treat it as an underpayment of mortgage whereas others don't.

    Reading between the lines, your post implies that you have other debts (e.g. loans or cards). While in a perfect world you should ensure all payments are made for the full amounts and on time, if you are in a position that requires something to be missed you need to prioritise your commitments.


    Mortgage is a priority commitment as you could lose your house (unless the payments are missed as part of a payment holiday).
    Council tax is a priority commitment as you could go to jail.
    Credit card debt is not a priority commitment, as a wrecked credit file for a few years is the worst that can happen.
    Buying newspapers, maintaining Sky, shopping in Waitrose, running two cars etc are not priorities.

    So, as suggested above, I'd get over to the Debt-free Wannabe part of the forum and identify ways of squeezing some extra leeway out of your income and outgoings. And make sure you are claiming all the benefits that you are entitled to.

    While it might be a drop in the ocean, here's a few suggestions to help as well:

    1) Register with a survey site like or or I earn about 100 a year in Tesco vouchers and luncheon vouchers this way.
    2) Register with a cashback site like and review all your utility bills and see if you can get (a) cashback and (b) cheaper outgoings. This is worth 100 a year to me.
    3) Make sure you are collecting loyalty points if you shop at stores like Boots, Tesco or Sainsbury. 150 a year. (don't spend more just to get points though!).
    4) Review anything that involves a monthly outgoing and see if you can reduce it with current provider, get it cheaper elsewhere or remove it (e.g. mobile phone, Sky, gas, electricity, landline, home insurance, internet etc). Could losing a 45 a month mobile phone contract and replacing it with a 20 payg phone that you only use for incoming calls help?
    5) Reduce car use. Consider selling a car if you have more than one.
    6) If you have a partner who buys lunch at work, switch him over to home made sandwiches! Instead of a 60p can of Coke from the vending machine he can drink water for free!
    7) Cut out visits to Starbucks.
    8) Register for any free baby offers with the various supermarkets.
    9) Check out sites like for freebies.
    10) Dont' buy desserts, biscuits, cakes etc at the supermarket. Own brand basics orange juice is half the price of Del Monte.
    11) Go food shopping after eating, not before (this is shown to reduce spending by 20%).
    12) Go shopping with a friend and share bogof offers!
    13) Turn off all lights, TVs, dripping taps etc off when they're not needed.
    14) Make sure you have an evening committed to entertainment - e.g. a night in playing games or watching a movie - build it up as a "big thing" and a treat to each other. It costs nothing!
    15) Set an evening aside each week to review the finances and clarify where every penny has gone (keep receipts to help do this). You'll be amazed at what people waste their money on. Perhaps build a forecast ahead for spending so you can see where your money will go in future.
    16) Fill up at the cheapest petrol station you pass and don't pick up a bar of chocolate when you pay. will tell you where is cheapest.
    17) Ensure you get invited round to local in-laws, parents and friends for meals to keep your costs down.
    18) Review every "premium" brand you buy and consider economy brand or other cheaper alternatives.
    19) Review what you can buy with Tesco Clubcard vouchers or Nectar points. Can you get better value on car servicing, breakdown cover or even a treat of a meal out from these?
    20) Cook smaller portions of food. Be honest, we all chuck a third of our meals away!
    21) Review left over food for the potential of making tomorrow's soup.
    22) When you maternity pay drops to its lowest point, spend your accrued loyalty points with various stores then (or pay for Xmas with them).
    23) Don't be afraid to ask your family for help. Mum's are fantastic at times.
    24) The tax credits system can, at times, be generous. Do you qualify for more than you are currently claiming?
    25) Manage your bank accounts and credit cards closely so that (a) you remain within limits and don't build up charges and (b) ensure your debts are not increasing as interest could become more of a significant issue.
    26) Shower instead of bath.
    27) Cancel newpapers and magazines.
    28) Scavange the yellow sticker discount stand in the supermarket for value.
    29) Sell your old junk on Ebay.
    30) Investigate the economics of cloth nappies. It may be that somebody buying baby a supply of these as a gift will save you loads over the next couple of years and it may appeal to an environmentally friendly mind.
    31) Don't be too proud - accept hand-me-downs for baby from friends and family.

    If anybody else is planning a baby, start saving prior to conception. Start saving loads prior to birth. Baby's are expensive luxuries and the loss of an income hurts!
    Last edited by opinions4u; 23-06-2010 at 1:24 PM.
  • vm1307
    • #4
    • 23rd Jun 10, 1:13 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Jun 10, 1:13 PM
    Thanks for your swift (and helpful) replies. Thank you for taking the time tothink of all those tips - there are some great ideas in there - I'm all set up with cloth nappies and ready to go so I'm hoping they work as well as I've read they do! I shall be having another look through to see which tips I can incorporate so thank you.

    As far as other areas of our budget are concerned, they really are shaved down to the barest minimum and even my budget-queen skills on the grocery shopping (I can spin a healthy week's eating out of more or less a stock cube and the dust from under the sofa when the occassion arises!) can't help me following recent revelations re: what my partner can afford to cover during the last 3 months of my maternity leave (when my pay goes down to stat mat pay plus child benefit/CTCs etc).

    Essentially I believe that our two options are: either enter into a Debt Management Plan/IVA/similar arrangement or take a payment holiday on the mortgage. I realise that the mortgage is a priority - which is why I've always paid as much of the capital as possible until now - but it's not an issue of not being able to pay it for the indefinite future; it's a case of having a shortfall for about 2 or 3 of the 6 months I'm on maternity leave and I'd be highly reluctant to enter into a long term (unnecessary) agreement simply to ensure that we can get through a temporary period of 2/3 months massively reduced finances. I guess I'll have to go back to work after 4 months (when my pay more or less dries up) if necessary but that time with my baby is precious and not something I'll give up if we can find an alternative arrangement.

    I have an existing 3 year plan to pay off all our debt (mortgage excepted) so I really don't want to 'give up' on plan A by going down the IVA/DMP route iykwim.

    I guess I'll just give them a call if nobody has any first hand experience of knowing whether they'll even entertain the idea. I just really wanted to do my research first as, after the last phone call, I was left feeling fobbed off and fed up.

    ETA: fwiw I wouldn't be asking about going on a payment holiday on my mortgage if I could afford to shop at waitrose/have sky telly etc - I'm honestly not toying with the idea as some sort of casual 'easy' option!
    Last edited by vm1307; 23-06-2010 at 1:52 PM.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 23rd Jun 10, 3:02 PM
    • 58,490 Posts
    • 51,853 Thanks
    • #5
    • 23rd Jun 10, 3:02 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Jun 10, 3:02 PM
    I guess I'll just give them a call if nobody has any first hand experience of knowing whether they'll even entertain the idea. I just really wanted to do my research first as, after the last phone call, I was left feeling fobbed off and fed up.
    Santander do appear to be taking a tougher line now on payment holidays now. To be fair to them its not their responsibility to manage your financial affairs. If you wish to spend time at home, then its really down to you to change your personal circumstances. The choice is yours, there is no right or wrong decision.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
  • buckle79
    • #6
    • 17th Aug 10, 9:23 AM
    Santander don't do it :(
    • #6
    • 17th Aug 10, 9:23 AM
    I rang them last night as I wanted to use a payment holiday to help pay for wedding costs but they told me point blank they don't provide this facility and no plans to either. They did tell me other lenders do but what good is that to me?!

    Does anyone know if Santander offer any other options to help with my circumstances?
    • beecher2
    • By beecher2 17th Aug 10, 9:30 AM
    • 3,622 Posts
    • 4,653 Thanks
    • #7
    • 17th Aug 10, 9:30 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Aug 10, 9:30 AM
    I'm sorry but I think it is madness to plan to use authorised mortgage arrears to pay for a wedding. Save up or cut the cost of the wedding.
    • Cannon Fodder
    • By Cannon Fodder 17th Aug 10, 9:43 AM
    • 3,848 Posts
    • 6,208 Thanks
    Cannon Fodder
    • #8
    • 17th Aug 10, 9:43 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Aug 10, 9:43 AM
    Does anyone know if Santander offer any other options to help with my circumstances?
    Originally posted by buckle79
    I'm pretty sure Santander offer "Savings accounts". Which you can deposit your spare cash into, and earn some interest on.

    A very useful product.

    If anybody else is planning a baby, start saving prior to conception. Start saving loads prior to birth.
    Originally posted by opinions4u
    Choosing to conceive when they know debts still need to be though they think life will get cheaper by having another mouth to feed, and person to clothe.

    Words fail me.
    Hi, we've noticed that you don't have a signature to remove. If you're not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you are feeling left out.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Aug 10, 10:16 AM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,223 Thanks
    • #9
    • 17th Aug 10, 10:16 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Aug 10, 10:16 AM
    I have an existing 3 year plan to pay off all our debt (mortgage excepted) so I really don't want to 'give up' on plan A by going down the IVA/DMP route iykwim.
    Originally posted by vm1307
    PLan A has failed if you are short allready.

    Why not delay this plan, go to Min payments on everything, if that is not enough then if you realy are only going to be short for 2-3 months then default one or more of those, no need for a formal DMP, if you rotate round the other debts each of the months, there will only onew or two defaults per debt and the arreers can be sorted within a month or two and then you can resurect plan A.

    Post a SOA so somene can have a look and offer a few options.
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