We’re here to support you – read our COVID-19 FAQs

Page last updated: 09:30 am 18/11/2020

Read our FAQs relating to COVID-19

As we continue to navigate our way through the impacts of the Coronavirus, we hope that you are keeping safe and well and would like to thank you for your patience.

We want to keep you up to date on the actions we have taken to ensure you can continue to offer your customers the best possible service in the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in.

To do so, we've created a list of your frequently asked questions which contain our updated processes and criteria.

If you would like to get in touch with our team, please contact your local BDM in the first instance.

New applications

What mortgage applications are you currently accepting?

We are accepting residential and re-mortgage applications up to 80% LTV and Buy to Let and Holiday Let applications up to 70% LTV. We are not accepting Help to Buy, Shared Ownership or Shared Equity.

How will you assess income for furloughed customers?

We will assess mortgage applications by only using the income that is currently being received by the applicant. We will also require written confirmation directly from the applicant’s employer confirming the date they will return to work, and whether their contractual arrangements will change.

In progress applications

What measures have been put in place when valuing a property?

Before a valuation is booked, the surveyor will complete an initial assessment with the occupier to determine whether it is safe for the physical valuation to be carried out. Access arrangements will be predetermined to ensure maximum safety for both the surveyor and the occupier.

Vacant properties:

  • New Build - Connells will work with the HBF and RICS to develop protocols for valuation inspections on-site
  • Second hand sales - there will be a risk assessed key collection or attended access

Occupied properties:

To minimise risk the following protocols will be followed for valuers attending occupied properties.

  • Internal doors will be opened pre-inspection
  • Loft hatches and ladder access will be facilitated pre-inspection
  • Windows will be opened to maximise ventilation during inspection
  • Pets will be controlled or removed from the property
  • Mutual 2m social distancing will be adhered to
  • Occupiers will congregate inside or outside the property, in a garage or in a car away from the surveyor

Offers

How do I extend an offer on an application?

We will automatically extend any offers for 3 months for all cases due to expire on or before 31st October 2020 in line with the guidance from UK Finance. When you receive a new completion date, please contact us and we will review the file.

Any offers expiring from 1st November 2020 onwards will revert to our standard process of extending offers for a maximum of 1 month on request, in line with the UK Finance guidelines. We can extend offers up to 3 months after this date if satisfactory supporting documentation is provided.

Mortgage payment holidays

How can my customers request a payment holiday?

If your customers need to apply for their first Mortgage Payment Holiday or request an extension, and they haven’t exceeded the maximum payment holiday duration of six months, they can request a payment holiday using this form. 

It is important for Principality mortgage customers to contact us to arrange a mortgage holiday, they should not cancel their direct debits as this may affect their credit file.

Will a payment holiday affect my customers’ credit file?

Lenders will make every effort to ensure that the payment holiday does not negatively impact a customers’ credit file. It is important for Principality mortgage customers to contact us to arrange a mortgage holiday; they should not cancel their direct debits as this may affect their credit file.

Any solutions put into place for the customer from 1st November may affect the customer’s credit score.

Will a customer who is due to complete in the near future be able to take the 3 month holiday after completion?

If a customer’s income is affected by COVID-19, they will be able to take an immediate payment holiday on completion. We would need to reassess affordability of their income as stated in our New Application FAQs.

How can my customer request an extension to their Mortgage Payment Holiday?

If your customer is currently on a Mortgage Payment Holiday and would like to apply for an extension, they don’t need to contact us yet. We will write to them outlining their options, including how to request an extension, ahead of their current payment holiday ending. 

If they have recently received a letter from us about their initial Mortgage Payment Holiday ending and would like to understand their options, or request a further extension, up to a maximum total duration of six months they can visit our updated page: Mortgage Payment Holiday Support

 

My customer’s financial circumstances have changed and they can now make up the payments missed due to taking a payment holiday. How can they pay this back?

We’re really pleased that your customer’s circumstances have changed for the better and they’re welcome to make overpayments (regularly or as a lump sum) to their mortgage account to cover missed payments. Please advise them to visit www.principality.co.uk/coronavirus or call us on 0330 333 4013.

This overpayment is in addition to the overpayment facility already available on all non-flexible residential and BTL mortgages. We have an overpayment allowance of 10% of the outstanding balance (as at January 1st) per calendar year. Overpayments received above and beyond the annual allowance and payment holiday may incur an Early Repayment Charge.

What is the difference between a Mortgage Payment Holiday and a Mortgage Payment Deferral?

“Mortgage Payment Holidays” and “Mortgage Payment Deferrals” are agreements with lenders that customers do not have to make any mortgage payments for a set period of time - although it is important to remember that customers will still owe that money and that the interest on their mortgage still accrues during this period.  

We use the term “Mortgage Payment Holiday” to refer to the initial periods up to a maximum total of 6 months to support customers affected by COVID-19 and which we are not required to report to Credit Reference Agencies.  

We use the term “payment deferral” to refer to any further periods that we may agree with after the Mortgage Payment Holiday has ended.  We are required to report this further support to Credit Reference Agencies and it may adversely affect your customer’s credit rating. 

 

My customer has already taken a six month Mortgage Payment Holiday. What are their options?

We understand these are difficult times and so if your customer needs ongoing support with their mortgage or they’re worried about their finances as a result of COVID-19, we can explore a range of options with them, including payment deferrals or temporarily switching to interest-only payments for an agreed period of time. Please be aware that further support may need to be reported to credit agencies and may adversely affect their credit rating.

To ensure we can offer your customer the right support, we need to understand their current financial situation and so we require all customers to complete a Budget Planner online first. It’s really important they complete the Budget Planner as this will help us to assess their situation and tailor support to suit their needs.

Once your customer has completed the Budget Planner, it is emailed to us and a member of the team will be in contact within five working days to discuss their options with them, based on their individual needs.

 

Product transfers

What is the process for product transfers and additional loans?

If you have a customer whose current deal is coming to an end and wants to transfer to a new product, they are able to proceed as normal. View our range of product transfer products.

 

Will you allow a product transfer for a customer in an agreed payment holiday?

Yes, providing your client is not in arrears and meets our usual product transfer criteria, they will be able to go ahead with the transfer.

Are there Holiday Let rates available for product transfers?

There are no specific product transfer rates for Holiday Lets, you are able to use the Buy to let range.

Repossessions

Is there a possibility of my customer's home being repossessed if they are struggling to make payments?

We recognise that many people are facing financial difficulties right now and we will do all we can to help your customers that need it, which is why we've pledged not to repossess homes until 30th June 2021.

We're calling on our Members who are struggling to pay their mortgage to work closely with us so we can help them through any financial problems so they can stay in their homes.

If your customer has a mortgage with us, and is struggling to make their payments, please advise them to visit our dedicated web page and get in touch with us. We'll do all we can to help them through this difficult time.