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Tips On Using Loan Repayment Holidays

Aug 17, 2007
If you find yourself struggling to pay off your loan in the short-term because of unforeseen financial difficulties, then perhaps you should consider taking a repayment holiday. Also, if you are looking to get a loan and want to know that you can take a short break from repayments if things are tight, then repayment holidays are probably for you. Here are some tips about how to use repayment holidays effectively and the consequences of doing so.

What is a repayment holiday?

Just as it sounds, a repayment holiday is when your lender will allow you to take a break or holiday from your monthly repayments, thereby helping you to sort out any financial difficulties that you have. A repayment holiday is often taken at the beginning of a loan, although many companies also offer the option to take a holiday at any point during the loan term.

Criteria for repayment holidays

Although not all lenders offer loan repayment holidays, it is becoming a more common practice. If you want to take a repayment holiday at the beginning of the loan, then you can usually get a few months break before you need to start paying the amount back. However, if you want to take a break later in the loan, this usually cannot be done within the first or last six months of the loan period. Also, you need to have made a number of consecutive payments before being allowed to take a repayment holiday. The length of the break you can have varies, but usually ranges from 1 to 3 months, with not more than 3 months out of any year being taken as a holiday.

Repayment holiday advantages

The main advantage of taking a repayment holiday is that it allows you to deal with unexpected financial problems without worrying about paying off your debts straight away. This can be useful if you are between jobs or have had an unexpectedly large expenditure for one month. Instead of getting into more expensive debt on a credit card, you can take a repayment holiday and just extend the loan period.

The costs of repayment holidays

Although repayment holidays can be very useful, they do come at a price. When you take a repayment holiday, interest on the loan amount still accrues. When you start paying again, you will either have to pay the normal monthly payment for longer and pay the interest at the end, or pay a slightly higher monthly payment to deal with the extra interest you have accrued. This means you should only use repayment holidays in a real emergency. If you are struggling for more than just a month or two, you need to sort out the problem with your lender rather than take a repayment holiday. As long as you use repayment holidays sparingly and understand the costs involved, they can be a great way to keep yourself financial stable during unexpectedly tough months.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Poor Credit Loans and Homeowner Loans
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