People with mortgages hit hardest by Covid risk lapsing onto SVR due to remortgaging fears

“Borrowers that have seen their incomes drop will probably be finding this a particularly challenging time so it’s vital they avoid falling onto a reversion rate”

32% of borrowers being negatively financially impacted by the pandemic say they are probably going to move onto their lender’s SVR rather than remortgage, according to research from Legal & General Mortgage Club.

Research found the impact of Covid-19 is discouraging thousands of borrowers with maturing loans from remortgaging. Impacting over 700,000 borrowers who will reach the end of their two or five-year residential fixed rate mortgages in 2021.

More than half (52%) of borrowers whose incomes have reduced as a result of the crisis are concerned that lenders will now be scrutinising their finances in more depth compared to pre-Covid levels.

50% are very concerned that deciding to take a payment ‘holiday’ will affect their future mortgage options, and two thirds (67%) believe it will be more difficult to get a mortgage when furloughed.

Possibly, those who have seen a negative impacted by the pandemic are also more likely to feel ‘not confident’ about remortgaging compared to borrowers whose incomes have remained stable (14% and 3% respectively).

According to analysis from L&G Mortgage Club, moving onto a lender’s SVR could increase annual mortgage repayments by more than £2,500 when compared to borrowers who lock into an average two-year fixed rate product. This could potentially create further financial difficulty for homeowners at a time when their incomes may already be stretched or reduced, including the precited 4.7 million individuals who remain furloughed.

Even among those who don’t plan to revert to their lender’s SVR, over half (52%) say they are now more likely to stick with their current lender when looking for a new product, with well over a third (37%) doing so because they believe this will be the easiest way to secure a new deal.

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, commented: “While the coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly affected people’s finances in different ways, those who have seen their incomes drop will likely be finding this a particularly challenging time so it’s vital they avoid falling onto a reversion rate and paying more when there are other affordable options available. Covid-19 may have dampened the confidence of a large number of borrowers wanting to lock into a new rate, yet the cost of not exploring their refinance options could be significant. Even for those borrowers who have seen a reduction in income, there may well be products available that would save them money in the long term when compared to their lender’s SVR.

“There are still thousands of great fixed rate-deals available, including furlough-friendly mortgages for those who have or continue to draw support from the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. The UK also has a thriving specialist lending sector designed to help borrowers with complex circumstances, from the self-employed to those who might have experienced a credit blip, many of whom can only be accessed through speaking with an independent adviser who could help these borrowers to save thousands of pounds in their mortgage repayments.”