I am struggling to keep up with my mortgage payments

Pages in I am struggling to keep up with my mortgage payments

  1. 1. You are here: What you can do
  2. 2. What help can I get?
  3. 3. I have mortgage arrears

1. What you can do

If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, do not ignore it. This will only make the situation worse. Try to avoid approaching companies that offer loans or offer to sell your house for you; it's likely you will be faced with more financial difficulty in the future by taking these routes. 

What you can do

Contact your mortgage lender

  • If you find yourself struggling to pay your mortgage it is important you contact your lender immediately. The majority of mortgage lenders will have procedures in place to help people in similar situations.
  • Not paying your mortgage payments will increase the risk of repossession, however (in England and Wales only), mortgage lenders must follow the Pre-Action Protocol, which involves them proving they have considered all other options before trying to repossess your property. So it is vital you are open and honest with your lender to agree the solution for you.
  • They may be able to offer you options including temporary payment arrangements (e.g. reduced payments), lengthening the term of your mortgage or temporarily switching to interest-only payments.
  • Your mortgage lender will be more sympathetic towards you if they can see you are trying to pay at least something off, so pay what you can afford.

Request an extension to your mortgage period

  • Usually mortgage repayment periods last 25 years. If you have been paying your mortgage for several years, you can ask your lender to extend the term to 25 years. Although this will decrease your monthly payment, you will be making payments for a longer period.

Make a personal budget

  • A personal budget involves listing all your income and spending to help you see all your financial activity. The Money Advice Service has online budget planner tools you can use (contact details below in ‘Useful contacts’ section).
  • This will help you plan your future spending by seeing how you can focus your spending on essential commitments such as your mortgage, utility bills (water, gas, electricity etc.), food, Council Tax etc. and identify where you can reduce non-essential spending.