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Support with mortgage debt or arrears

If you are struggling to meet your mortgage payments, there is support and advice available to you.

The National Debtline website has detailed guidance on mortgage arrears.

Citizen’s Advice UK also has a detailed section on their website for support available to those struggling to pay their mortgages.

Mortgage Charter

The government’s new Mortgage Charter is a set of principles agreed by major UK lenders to provide flexibility for those who are struggling with their mortgage payments.

Depending on your circumstances, your lender may agree to support customers struggling with their mortgage payments which could include:

  • extending a mortgage term to reduce payments
  • a temporary switch to interest-only payments
  • a temporary reduction in payment (including zero payment if appropriate)
  • a part interest-part repayment plan

Banks and lenders who have signed up to the Mortgage Charter have also agreed that for customers:

  • from 26 June, you will not be forced to leave their home without your consent unless in exceptional circumstances, in less than a year from a first missed payment
  • from 10 July customers approaching the end of a fixed rate deal will have the chance to lock in a deal up to six months ahead. They will also be able to manage their new deal and request a better like-for-like deal with their lender right up until their new term starts if one is available

To check if your lender has signed up to the Mortgage Charter and to see the full range of support that is available under the charter, go to visit GOV.UK webpage on Mortgage Charter.

If you are concerned that your lender is not following the charter, although they have signed up to it, contact the National Debtline website for advice.

Breathing space

If you’re in mortgage arrears or you need time to get debt advice and find a debt solution, you may want to consider applying for breathing space.

Breathing space will stop most types of enforcement and also stop most creditors from applying interest and charges for 60 days.

The National Debtline has a dedicated fact sheet page on breathing space.

Support for mortgage interest

Support for mortgage interest (SMI) is a loan from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help pay towards the interest on your mortgage or another home loan. You might also get help with other loans for service charges or repairs.

You might get SMI if you own your home or you’re in a shared ownership scheme.

You need to be getting one of these benefits:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit

It’s important to get advice from Citizens Advice before deciding to apply for support for mortgage interest, particularly if you have other loans or debts.

If you need more advice

Citizens Advice Southwark can provide advice and support for paying your mortgage or if you are experiencing debt.

Shelter and the National Debtline, Moneyhelper, and StepChange have also free helplines that can advise you if you are struggling with mortgage arrears or other debts.

Page last updated: 10 August 2023


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