Mortgage difficulties

If you are having difficulties paying your mortgage, here are some options:

Lender options

You should contact your lender to discuss your situation and explore all the lender options. A lender can:

  • Reduce your monthly payments for a certain period
  • Cut the cost of being in arrears with your mortgage
  • Extend the length of the loan
  • Spread the payment of the total amount owed
  • Offer a better loan rate
  • Allow you time to sell your home (if that is your preference).

Before repossession

Mortgage lenders should only repossess your property as a last resort. Lenders should discuss and agree alternative arrangements to repossession and, if a case reaches court, they have to give details of what help and support they have offered.

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

Support for Mortgage Interest can help if you:

  • are in paid work for less than 16 hours a week or your partner is in paid work for less than 24 hours a week
  • have a mortgage or other loans which are secured on your property
  • qualify or are receiving any of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
    • Pension Credit.

SMI contributes to the interest on eligible loans. Payments are calculated using the Bank of England average mortgage rate and are subject to change.

If you're making a new claim and are of working age:

  • SMI can be paid on loans up to £200,000
  • SMI is usually paid after 13 weeks.

If you receive Pension Credit:

  • SMI can be paid on loans up to £100,000
  • you can get help with your mortgage straight away.

If you are on benefits and are having difficulties paying your mortgage, contact your local Jobcentre or Jobcentre Plus office for further information.

Homeless prevention fund

If you are at risk of homelessness through repossession or eviction we may be able to provide an interest free loan. Loans range from £1,000 to a maximum of £5,000 per household. The loans will need to be paid back, but interest will not be charged.

To qualify for a loan you need to meet a range of conditions which include:

  • your payment arrears should be because of a loss of earnings or a reduction in working hours
  • you should have no previous history of high arrears
  • you must show that you have received debt and financial advice that you've acted on
  • all other options have failed or there is no other way to resolve the problem.

For further information and conditions you need to meet to qualify please contact Housing Services.

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB