Are you worried about your mortgage?
If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, or you think it will be difficult to pay more when your fixed-rate deal ends, act now to stop your situation becoming worse.
Sometimes when your circumstances change, for example you work fewer hours, become sick, receive a cut in your pay, lose your job or have high bills to pay, life seems impossible. Don't let your debt problems get on top of you. Get the advice and help you need to prevent you from losing your home. Not knowing who to talk to is half the problem. Please remember it is best to get advice as early as possible
- Don't ignore the problem
When you receive a letter or phone call from your mortgage lender, never ignore it. If you don't understand the letter, don't be afraid to ask your lender or speak to a debt advisor at your local Shelter advice service or Citizens Advice Bureau.
- Look at your situation and check what help you can get
Take a good look at what you are spending money on. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I cut back on my spending without having to struggle?
- Can I get a better deal on my mortgage?
- Am I behind on any other loans secured against my home?
- Can I change the way I am paying my other debts that are not a priority by talking to the people I owe money to?
- Talk to your Lender
If there's a problem and you cannot pay your monthly mortgage payments in full, you should tell the lender immediately. They should be sympathetic and can help if you let them know as early as possible that you have money problems. Be honest with them about what is causing the problems. Your lender will have experience of working with borrowers to help solve problems like this, and it may be possible to reduce your monthly payments for a time.
- Show that you are willing to pay what you can
To keep your home, you must keep your payments going. If you are having problems, work out your budget and look at ways of making savings, cutting back, or increasing the amount of money you have coming in. If your lender knows you are trying your best to pay the loan, they should give you more time to sort out your money problems.
- Find out what your options are
Mortgage lenders should only take possession action as a last option. Contact Citizens Advice to make an appointment to see a debt advisor. When you go to see the advisor, take with you all the relevant information on your monthly household income and costs, any benefits you receive and loan payments you are making. The advisor will:
- Check you are getting all the money you and your family should receive
- Give you advice on benefits, you might be able to get help with your housing costs
- Look into any other help you may be able to receive
- Help you tell the lender about the problems you are having
- Come up with ways to help you manage your debt, and
- May help you legally if court action has started
- Contact the Home-Options team for general housing advice here