Among the 7.4 million Americans granted mortgage forbearance during the COVID-19 pandemic, 72% felt guilty about it.
A LendingTree survey of over 1,000 homeowners indicated that the majority of the respondents approved for a forbearance might not have needed one. Only 5% of those in a forbearance plan said they wouldn't have been able to pay their mortgage without it.
Meanwhile, 26% said they could have paid their mortgages, but would've needed to skip other essential bills. Around 70% applied for forbearance just because they wanted to take a break from their monthly payments.
Borrowers typically need to provide proof that they're experiencing financial hardship to qualify for a forbearance. However, any borrower with a government-backed mortgage may request forbearance without having to prove hardship. This explains why 80% of people who applied for mortgage relief were approved even though most of them didn't necessarily need one.
Additionally, 33% of those surveyed felt "a lot" of guilt about receiving forbearance, while 38% were just "a little" guilty.