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Worried about mortgage arrears?

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Mortgage arrears. What if you are finding it hard to deal with payments

If you have mortgage arrears it means you are behind with your payments. Missed mortgage payments are recorded on your credit file. If you do not pay what you owe, you are at risk of your house being repossessed.

Find out how we can help if you are worried about falling behind with your monthly payments.

What to do if you are struggling with mortgage repayments  


Missed payment? Don't panic, life happens, and so do missed payments. Your mortgage provider will reach out to understand why.

  • Tackle it together. Your mortgage lender is there to help, and the sooner you contact them the better
  • Make payments work for you. When you talk to your lender, they will give you options to either pay it all at once or pay it in chunks
  • Check your contract. Late payments might lead to a one-off charge. Don't forget to check your mortgage contract
  • Remember, there is a solution. Get in touch if you need support

household bills iconWorried about money and your mortgage?

Maybe it is a strain to keep on top of monthly spending. Or you don't know what to do when your fixed rate mortgage ends.

Together, we can look at your situation and unlock your options.

Read our homeowner guides.

Is your home at risk?

Free legal support is available.

The government's Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service can advise you on:

  • Illegal eviction
  • Rent arrears
  • Mortgage arrears
  • Issues with welfare benefits payments
  • Debt concerns
  • Disrepair and other problems with housing conditions

Find out more here.

What happens if you do not pay your mortgage on time?

The mortgage provider will contact you to find out why your payment has not come through. At this point, they should give you the chance to get your payments back on track.

It is normal to worry about repossession. But it is always a last resort.

When you contact your lender they will:

  1. Give you the option to pay what you owe in full
  2. Consider letting you pay what you owe in instalments. If you cannot pay the full amount

They may take further action to collect the debt if you fail to keep to your payment arrangement.

You may be charged a penalty fee for a late payment. Check your mortgage agreement for this.

Options your lender may discuss with you

Switching to an interest-only mortgage

  • This is not a long-term solution
  • You would only be paying the interest part of the mortgage
  • You need to make sure that you can pay the ‘capital’ at some point before the end of the term
  • The 'capital' is the original amount borrowed

Extending the term of your mortgage

  • This will lower your monthly payments, making them more affordable
  • You should think about whether you would be able to continue paying the mortgage over a longer period of time and into your retirement

Giving you a payment holiday

  • This means you would have a break from paying your mortgage for a few months
  • You will need to catch up with these payments before your mortgage term ends
  • Your lender may charge interest during the payment holiday. This would mean you pay back more overall

Helping you with an assisted voluntary sale scheme

  • Your lender may offer an assisted voluntary sale scheme
  • This means they will give you extra time and help if you decide to sell your property

Recommending government mortgage help

How I can clear my mortgage arrears?

Start by creating a budget so you have a clear understanding of your finances.

  1. List all your income, spending and debts
  2. See if there is any money left over after you have covered all your household bills and living costs. This is the amount you can afford to pay towards your mortgage arrears. And other debts, if you have any
  3. Look into ways to increase your income and reduce your spending. This way, you can pay off what you owe faster
  4. Contact your lender to ask them to agree to a new payment plan. Give them a copy of your budget to show them you really are paying as much as you can afford

If you are worried about not being able to afford your monthly payments, get in touch with us for free debt advice.

How long do mortgage arrears stay on a credit file?

All missed, late or partial payments are recorded on your credit file for at least six years.

Find out more about debt and credit files.

Can I sell my house with mortgage arrears?

Yes you can. Sometimes this is the best option if there is no other way to pay what you owe. But, you do need to think about whether this would be the best option for you. It might not be suitable if:

  • You are in negative equity. This means the property is worth less than you owe to the lender
  • You would have to rent a home with higher monthly payments
  • You are thinking about going ahead with an insolvency solution, such as bankruptcy

The person overseeing any bankruptcy may look into the sale when they investigate your insolvency. They will need to check you sold it for a fair price and did not break any bankruptcy rules.

Can I protect myself from repossession if I am behind on my mortgage?

If you are behind on your mortgage, you may be able to get Breathing Space. This could give you up to 60 days’ break from:

  • Interest
  • Fees
  • Court action

If you qualify, you cannot be evicted for mortgage arrears during your Breathing Space.

Once your Breathing Space ends, your lender can start the repossession process again.

Worried about your home being repossessed?

We can help you with debt, but we recommend you contact:

  • Shelter (England, Wales, and Scotland)
  • Housing Rights (Northern Ireland)

They offer practical support for anyone struggling with housing difficulties.

Free help and advice if you cannot pay your mortgage

We can help you create a budget and work out what you can afford to pay towards your mortgage arrears.

Use our online debt advice tool to create a tailored budget and to receive a personalised action plan.