If you’re struggling with your mortgage repayments and can’t get back on track – or are worried about losing your home, the temptation may be to ignore the problem. Don’t. Here is what you can do and where you can find help.
Your mortgage lender will be keen to help and will talk through your options.
If you’re struggling with money, you can talk to someone today, online, by phone or face to face. We have specially trained advisers who can help you start sorting out your financial problems.
They must make reasonable attempts to reach an agreement with you, including considering whether to change the way you make payments and when you make them.
If you fall into arrears within 15 days, your lender must:
Furthermore, your lender must not seek repossession unless all other reasonable attempts to resolve the situation have failed, and they must give you reasonable notice before taking that action.
Offer to pay back what you can afford when you discuss your options with your lender – continuing to pay back some money is better than paying nothing and will help reduce your arrears.
Depending on your circumstances your lender might also make suggestions for you, for example extending your mortgage term.
You might be surprised how simple it is to come to an arrangement to reduce your monthly repayments.
Don’t delay – get in touch with your lender as soon as possible.
Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance, also called Accident, Sickness and Unemployment insurance, can help with your mortgage repayments if your income has fallen because of redundancy, accident or sickness.
You might have taken it out when you got your mortgage – look through your mortgage paperwork and double check with your lender or the broker who you used when you took out the mortgage.
Use our Budget planner to get a clear picture of your income and expenditure.
Spending some time considering your spending habits will help you see if you can save money anywhere.
To help see where you can save cash, have a look at your outgoings in relation to what you have coming in then divide spending into essential and non-essential items.
Budgeting is essential if you’re struggling to meet outgoings. Here are just a couple of ways to cut back:
Follow the links below to get more money saving tips.
For things like food and energy bills – try shopping around to get a better deal elsewhere.
However, think carefully before you cut back on insurance, especially life insurance.
Ask yourself whether spending a small amount on the premium is better than the risk of not having a pay-out should you die or paying thousands of pounds of your own money if anything were to happen to your home.
As well as speaking to your lender take advice from one of the many free debt advice charities and organisations.
A trained money adviser from an independent agency, like Citizens Advice or Shelter, can give you free and impartial advice.
There are other charities that can help you talk through your situation and provide information on where to find solutions.
Use a benefit calculator on the GOV.UK website to find out what you might be entitled to.
Depending on your circumstances you might be eligible for certain benefits – and/or for government help towards your interest payments.
If you’re worried that you might lose your home as a result of lapsed repayments, charities can provide support and advice, and there is plenty of help elsewhere too.
Your local council might also be able to offer support and advice.
If you know that your situation won’t change in the long term, think about selling your home yourself and renting or moving to a cheaper property.
If considering this option, ask your lender if you can stay in your property until you sell it and check if it offers help through an Assisted Voluntary Sale scheme.
But make sure you have a place to live before you move out. If you keep your lender up to date and do everything you can to sell it, they should give you good time to sell.
Depending on your property, you might also want to check whether you can sell your home to your council or a social landlord and stay there as tenant.
Speak to a free debt advice service before resorting to any of these options.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.