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If you have mortgage arrears it means you’re behind with your payments. Missed mortgage payments are recorded on your credit file and if you don’t pay what you owe, you’re at risk of your house being repossessed.
Find out how we can help you get the help you need if you’re worried about falling behind with your monthly payments.
A number of measures are being rolled out to help people who are struggling financially because of coronavirus. These include mortgage payment breaks and payment holidays for credit cards, changes to overdraft charges and the extension of the moratorium period for debts for people in Scotland.
Read our guides:
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Firstly, the mortgage provider will contact you to find out why your payment hasn’t come through. At this point, they should give you the opportunity to get your payments back on track.
Although many of us fear our homes being repossessed, repossession is always a last resort.
When you contact your lender they'll:
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, so you should check your mortgage agreement.
Switching to an interest-only mortgage
This isn’t a long-term solution because you’d only be repaying the interest part of the mortgage. You need to make sure that you can also repay the ‘capital’ (the original amount borrowed) at some point before the end of the term.
Extending the term of your mortgage
This will reduce your monthly payments, helping to make them more affordable. You should consider whether you’d realistically be able to continue repaying the mortgage over a longer period of time, particularly if this would be after your retirement.
Giving you a payment holiday
This means you’d have a break from paying your mortgage for a few months. You’d need to catch up with these payments before your mortgage term ends. It’s possible that your lender will still charge interest in this period, which would mean you’d 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
In some cases, you can get government mortgage help with your mortgage payments. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).
The first step to repaying your mortgage arrears is to create a budget so you have a clear understanding of your finances.
Contact your lender to agree to a new payment plan. Give them a copy of your budget to show them you’re paying as much as you can afford.
If you’re worried about not being able to afford your monthly payments, get in touch with us for free, personalised debt advice.
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.
Yes you can, and sometimes that’s the best option if there’s no other way to pay what you owe. However, you do need to consider if this would be the best option for you. It might not be suitable if:
If you’re at risk of your home being repossessed, it’s important to get expert advice as early as possible. We can help you with debt problems, but we strongly recommend you contact Shelter, or Housing Rights if you live in Northern Ireland. They offer practical support for anyone struggling with housing difficulties.
How we help
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.
Or call us (free from all landlines and mobiles) and speak to our expert advisors.