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Who and when can count on credit holidays in 2024? Check!

wakacje kredytowe

Tomasz Woźniak |

Loan holidays are a government program that gives mortgage borrowers the opportunity to temporarily suspend the repayment of loan installments. This is an attractive option, especially in times of high interest rates and rising costs of living. But can everyone use it? What are the conditions for receiving this aid and how to use it properly? In this article, we explain exactly when you can count on credit holidays in 2024.

What are credit holidays?

Loan holidays are a temporary suspension of mortgage repayments. This means that you do not have to pay principal or interest on your loan for a certain period of time. Instead, these postponed installments are added to the end of the loan repayment period, extending it by the holiday period.

It's important to remember that credit holidays are not debt relief. The entire loan will still have to be repaid, but spread over a longer period. The advantage is that you do not burden your budget with the monthly installment for several months.

Who will have credit holidays in 2024?

The right to take advantage of loan holidays in 2024 is available to borrowers who meet the following conditions:

  • They have a mortgage loan in PLN taken out before July 1, 2022.
  • The value of this loan does not exceed PLN 1.2 million.
  • The loan installment is more than 30% of the average household income over the last 3 months.
  • The loan must be repaid at least 6 months after the date of suspension of installments.

Additionally, if the borrower supports at least three children, the criterion of 30% of income in installments does not apply.

When can you take advantage of credit holidays?

Credit holidays in 2024 will be available in two periods:

  1. From June 1 to August 31 - possibility of suspending 2 loan installments.
  2. From September 1 to December 31 - possibility of suspending the next 2 loan installments.

In total, the borrower may suspend the repayment of 4 installments in 2024. The Act specifies that repayment is suspended automatically on the day the application is delivered to the bank.

How to calculate income until credit holidays?

The key condition for taking advantage of loan holidays is that the loan installment exceeds 30% of the household income. But how exactly to calculate this indicator?

Pursuant to the Act, the basis is the average net income from the last 3 months before submitting the application. This includes all sources of income for household members, such as:

  • Full-time salary
  • Business income (after deducting costs, contributions and taxes)
  • Pensions and annuities
  • Family benefits (excluding 500+)
  • Income from rental or investment

The costs of social and health insurance and alimony paid to other people should be subtracted from the income. We divide the obtained amount by 3 to obtain the average monthly net income.

Then we compare this value with the loan installment amount. If the installment exceeds 30% of the average income, the borrower meets the income criterion for loan holidays.

How does the bank check income?

When applying for a credit holiday, you do not have to provide any proof of income. Instead, you make a declaration under pain of criminal liability for providing false information.

The bank does not verify your income at the application stage. It accepts the declaration, and possible verification may only take place later, e.g. when applying for another loan.

Remember to estimate your income reliably, because submitting a false declaration may result in serious consequences.

Example of calculating the Installments to Income ratio (RdD)

To better understand what the practical calculation of the RdD indicator looks like, let's analyze an example:

A two-person family in which:

  • My husband earns PLN 4,000 net as a full-time employee
  • The wife runs a business and achieves PLN 5,000 net income
  • The mortgage installment is PLN 3,600

Net household income in the last 3 months:

  • March: PLN 4,000 (husband) + PLN 5,000 (wife) = PLN 9,000
  • April: PLN 4,000 (husband) + PLN 4,000 (wife) = PLN 8,000
  • May: PLN 4,000 (husband) + PLN 4,000 (wife) = PLN 8,000

Average monthly net income = (9,000 + 8,000 + 8,000) / 3 = PLN 8,333

Installment to Income Ratio (RdD) = PLN 3,600 / PLN 8,333 = 43.2%

Since the RdD ratio exceeds 30%, the family meets the income criterion for credit holidays.

Credit holidays and creditworthiness assessment

One of the most common questions about credit holidays is their impact on creditworthiness. Can using this program harm our future rating in the eyes of banks?

According to information received directly from financial institutions, information about the use of credit holidays should not negatively affect the assessment of creditworthiness. Banks report this fact to BIK, but it is not treated as a delay in repayment.

Moreover, information about the suspension of repayment is marked in the BIK report with a special annotation that explains the reason. Therefore, taking advantage of credit holidays should not have an adverse effect on your rating in the future.

How to apply for a credit holiday?

To take advantage of loan holidays, you must submit an application to the bank where you have a mortgage loan. You can send this application:

  • In paper form - by post, courier or delivered in person to a bank branch
  • Electronically - by e-mail or via the online banking system

The application should contain basic information such as:

  • your data
  • Lender details
  • Credit agreement number
  • Indication of the period for which you request suspension of repayment
  • A statement that the loan applies to real estate for your own housing needs
  • Declaration of meeting the income requirement or having at least three children

The bank has 21 days to confirm receipt of the application and provide information about the repayment suspension period and possible insurance costs.

When should you submit an application?

Pursuant to the Act, applications for credit holidays in 2024 can be submitted from May 1 to May 31. This is a statutory deadline, although banks may start accepting applications a little later, after the regulations come into force.

Remember that repayment is suspended automatically on the day the application is delivered to the bank. This means that even if your application is received at the end of May, you will still be able to take advantage of the holidays from June 1.

Costs related to credit holidays

By taking advantage of loan holidays, you do not pay principal or interest on the loan during the suspension period. However, you must bear the costs of insurance related to the contract, such as:

  • Real estate insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Low own contribution insurance

The bank will provide you with the amount of these fees in the confirmation of receipt of the application. Remember that you will pay them for the entire holiday period, i.e. for 4 additional months.

How to use savings from credit holidays?

The amount you save thanks to credit holidays can be a significant injection of cash into your budget. How to make the most of this money?

Here are some possible scenarios:

  1. Loan overpayment - You can use the saved funds for a one-time or monthly overpayment of the loan. This will allow you to shorten the repayment period or lower the installment amount.

  2. Investments - If you do not need this money for current expenses, you can invest it, e.g. in an investment fund or deposit. Thanks to this, your savings will work and bring additional income.

  3. Repairing the budget - If your financial situation is tight, you can simply spend the money on current needs, e.g. to pay off other liabilities or cover unplanned costs.

Regardless of how you decide to use your savings, remember that credit holidays are a good opportunity to improve your financial situation. So it's worth thinking carefully about what you will do with this money.

Examples of calculations of benefits from credit holidays

To better illustrate how you can use credit holidays, let's analyze some specific examples.

Let's assume you have a mortgage loan for PLN 400,000, repaid in 240 installments (20 years) and an interest rate of 7.5% per annum. Your current installment is PLN 2,800.

If you take advantage of the 4-month loan holidays, you will be able to save:

  • PLN 11,200 (4 x PLN 2,800) in installments only
  • Additionally, you will save approximately PLN 1,300 on interest

This gives a total of PLN 12,500 in savings. How can you use them?

  1. Overpayment every month - If you spent this PLN 12,500 on a monthly overpayment, you would shorten the loan period by 14 months. Your new installment would be PLN 2,650.

  2. One-time overpayment - By making a one-off overpayment of PLN 12,500 after the holidays, you would shorten the repayment period by 12 months. Your installment would still be PLN 2,800.

  3. Investments - If you invested the PLN 12,500 from the loan holidays at a 6% rate of return per year, after 20 years you would get approximately PLN 35,000.

As you can see, wisely used credit holidays can bring tangible financial benefits. Therefore, it is worth analyzing your situation and choosing the most favorable scenario.

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