Mortgage arrears

If you are unable to meet your mortgage payments, or you are worried you may fall behind in your payments, it is never too late to contact your mortagage lender. Get in touch as soon as possible by writing, telephoning or  making an appointment to see them.

Mortgage lenders are keen to help their customers sort out any payment problems. they may be able to come to a payment arrangement which is practical in terms of your circumstances and covers the terms of your mortgage, where appropriate.

If you are worried you may fall behind in your payments, depending on your payment history and if your problems are likely to be short or long term, then your lender may agree to:

  • Reduce your mortgage payments for a set period
  • Charge you interest only for a while, if you have a repayment mortgage
  • Extend your mortgage term to reduce your payments
  • Give you a "payment holiday"

If you are already in mortgage arrears, your lenders will suggest a way to pay off the arrears gradually, alongside your current payments. If you are unable to meet the extra payments you may be able to  delay them for a while or add them to your loan. This option will depend on your payment history.

Pay as much as you can financially manage every month. Keeping up with regular payments, even if they do vary, shows you are committed. Lenders will be more likely to treat you sympathetically and you will reduce the arrears charges at the same time. 

It is very important you do not ignore any payment problems. Mortgages are considered as a "priority debt", this means you should pay it off first as your home could get repossessed.

Your lender can help you work ou how much you can afford but you may prefer to do this yourself or with help from a Debt Adviser. a good starting point is to write down all of your income and outgoings and see what you have left. You can access an an online budget calculator provided by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

There are new schemes which may be able to help if you are having mortgage payment problems, for example

  • Mortgage Rescue Scheme (for vulnerable families, older people, disabled persons or those with children)
  • Homeowner Mortgage Support (if your income has dropped unexpectedly)

For more information please contact CAB.