Sources of support and advice from us and impartial organisations.
Worried about your mortgage payments?
Whether you’re behind on your mortgage or worried you might miss a payment, you’re not alone. We’re here to help. Simply speaking to us won’t affect your credit file. You can reach our team of experienced agents by calling 0330 159 7152. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8:00am – 8:00pm.
We know that it can be tough to admit you have money problems and asking for help can be hard, so we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to let you know what to expect when you speak to us.
We’ll understand your circumstances
We’ll ask you some questions to help us understand what’s changed. It’s best to be as open and honest as you can as this will help us to understand how we can help. If your circumstances (for example, a health condition or a recent life event like a bereavement or divorce) are affecting your ability to manage your account, you should tell us about this as we may be able to adapt our service to better support you.
If you have debts with other companies or want independent advice, we might recommend you speak to a debt advisor. A debt advisor will look at your overall financial position and recommend ways to deal with your debts. They won’t tell anyone you’ve spoken to them unless you instruct them to act on your behalf and speaking to them won’t affect your credit score. Many people say they had their first good night’s sleep in months after speaking with a debt advisor*. You can find details of the debt advice organisations we work closely with under the Independent Resources tab on this page.
*Source – StepChange Debt Charity – June 2023
We’ll ask for your financial information
We’ll need some financial information to understand your current situation. This helps us understand what options and support may be suitable for you. We’ll usually ask you to complete an income and expenditure (sometimes called an I&E) form, to give us a clear picture of your financial position.
The quickest and easiest way to give us this information is by providing it online. We’ve partnered with Paylink to help make it as easy as possible for you to do this. Simply click on the link to set up an account and then follow the step-by-step process to create your personal budget. Once you’ve finished, Paylink will tell us and we’ll use this information to understand how we can help you.
If you don’t want to provide this information online you can call us on 0330 159 7152, and complete it over the phone or ask us to send out a paper form for you to complete at home and post back to us.
We’ll explain your options
We’ll use the information from your I&E to work out what options may be suitable for you. We’ll then talk you through them, explaining what they mean to you, whether they’ll affect your credit file and if you’ll be charged more interest.
We’ll agree a solution
We’ll work with you to agree the most appropriate solution that’s tailored to your needs. This may be a short-term solution to help you get back on your feet, or a longer-term solution to pay back any arrears.
Our priority is to support you in remaining in your home, but sadly this isn’t always possible. Either because you can no longer afford your monthly mortgage payments or to pay back any outstanding arrears by the end of the term. If this is the case, we’ll work with you to give you the time you need. This might include allowing you to remain in your property whilst you put it on the market and wait for it to sell.
If we can’t agree a solution with you or we can’t get in touch with you, we may instruct our solicitors to begin legal action. This could result in you losing your property. This is always a last resort and something we’ll only do when we’ve exhausted all other options. From 7 July 2023, we won’t take possession of your property for at least 12 months from the date of your first missed payment (unless you ask us to, or we’re told that it’s empty).
Ways we can help
We can change your payment due date to be earlier or later (for example, to match the date you get paid), as long as the new date is within the same month.
If your mortgage has flexible features (you can call us or check your original Offer of Loan to confirm) then you may be able to take a payment holiday of up to three months.
If you’re unable to meet all or part of your mortgage payment, we might be able to accept a lower or even no payment for a period of time.
If you can afford your monthly payment or more, we may be able to agree a payment arrangement to help stabilise or reduce any outstanding arrears. The amount we agree will be based on your individual circumstances and how much you can afford to pay.
If you have a repayment mortgage and need longer than the existing term to pay back the mortgage balance or outstanding arrears, we may be able to agree a term extension.
If you have a repayment mortgage and either need a reduced payment for a period of time or want to repay arrears at a faster pace, a temporary change in the type of mortgage you have – for example by temporarily converting a repayment mortgage to interest only – may be appropriate.
If you are no longer able to afford to live in the security property but have alternative accommodation that is affordable, we may agree for you to let the property for a temporary period.
If you would like to add your outstanding arrears to your mortgage balance, capitalising your arrears may be an option.
If you can no longer afford to make your mortgage payments but want to stay in your property and are resident in Scotland or Wales, you may be eligible for one of their mortgage rescue schemes. These schemes allow you to keep living in your own home as a tenant, part-owner or part-tenant.
If you live in Scotland, you can access more information on the Home Owners’ Support fund at www.mygov.scot/home-owners-support-fund
If you live in Wales, you should contact your local council’s Housing Options team, homelessness team or housing strategy officers for information on whether there is a mortgage rescue scheme in your area which could help you.
If you are no longer able to afford to live in your home, we may be able to help you sell the property through our assisted voluntary sale scheme. You’ll be able to stay in your property while it’s on the market, you’ll stay in control of the sale process and we’ll even pay your sale costs.
This is known as a sale at shortfall. If you wish to sell your property, regardless of whether there are any mortgage arrears, and the sale price won’t be enough to pay back your mortgage balance you will need to go through our sale at shortfall process.
If you no longer wish to remain in your home and have somewhere else to live, regardless of whether there are any mortgage arrears, you can choose to voluntarily surrender the property (often known as ‘handing the keys back’). You should think very carefully before going ahead with this option.
Interest Only Mortgages
The end of your mortgage may seem like a long way off, but we know that time flies. We want to be sure that you’re in the best position to pay back your interest only mortgage by the end of the term. That’s why we’ll contact you regularly to find out about your plans.
Why you need a plan
When you have an interest only mortgage, the monthly payments you make only cover the interest. This means you need to pay off the amount you borrowed by the end of the mortgage term.
It’s important you have a repayment plan in place to repay your interest only mortgage when it ends. Your latest mortgage statement will tell you exactly how much you owe and when it needs to be paid back.
If you have a repayment plan, you need to check it regularly to make sure it’s on track. We recommend that you do this at least once a year. If you don’t have a plan or you’re worried that it might not be enough, we can help. Call our dedicated team now on 0330 159 7153. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 08:30am-6:00pm.
Ways we can help
You could convert all or part of your mortgage to repayment, so you pay off both the interest and the capital you’ve borrowed. This will increase your monthly payments, so you’d need to speak to one of our qualified mortgage advisors to make sure that it’s affordable. You can make an appointment by calling 0330 159 7152. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8:00am – 8:00pm.
Overpaying your mortgage means you can save money on the interest you pay. It can also help reduce the amount you need to pay back at the end of the term. We don’t charge any early repayment charges, so there’s no limit to the amount you can overpay by.
If you have an endowment policy, shares, Individual Savings Account (ISA) or other investment plan that you were saving for a rainy day, you might want to use this to reduce or pay off your mortgage.
You might be able to get a cheaper mortgage with a new lender which could help make paying back your interest only mortgage more affordable. We recommend that you get independent whole-of-market mortgage advice to help you understand your options. There are many companies offering free advice but some organisations do charge for their services, so you should always check this first.
If you plan to sell your home to pay off your interest only mortgage you will need to think about where you’re going to live.
You may wish to:
- Use the equity from your home to buy a cheaper property with no mortgage
- Use the equity from your home to buy a cheaper property and have a smaller repayment mortgage
- Move into a rented property or with family
With each of these options (particularly the first two) you’ll need to make sure that you have enough equity in your property to make your plan work.
If you’re planning to sell your property, our dedicated team can help you answer these questions. Call our them on 0330 159 7153. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 08:30am-6:00pm.
What happens if I can’t pay back my interest only mortgage?
If you’re concerned about paying back your interest only mortgage, it’s best to talk to us. Call our dedicated team now on 0330 159 7153. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 08:30am-6:00pm.
If you can’t afford to pay back your interest only mortgage at the end of the term, you may need to sell your property. If you plan to do this, we recommend that you place the property on the market six months before the end of the term to allow time for it to sell.
If the term of the mortgage ends and the balance remains outstanding, we’ll try a number of ways to contact you. This may involve writing to you, calling you and sending out a field agent to visit your property. This is to help us understand your plans to pay off the mortgage.
If we can’t get in touch with you, we may have no choice but to tell our solicitors to take legal action. This could result in you losing your property. Taking legal action is always a last resort and something we’ll only do when all other options have been exhausted.
Switching to another lender
You may be able to get a cheaper mortgage with a new lender if your mortgage is up to date, you’ve made your last 12 payments in full and on time, and you’re not looking to borrow any more money (except to cover product or adviser fees). This is because new rules allow lenders to carry out a more relaxed affordability assessment, where all they have to do is demonstrate that your new mortgage is more affordable than your current one.
Finding out if you’re eligible
To see if you can switch to a cheaper mortgage visit www.moneyhelper.org.uk and complete the simple questionnaire.
To help you complete the questionnaire as accurately as possible, it would be useful to have your latest mortgage statement to hand. The questionnaire takes five minutes to complete and when you get to the end you’ll receive an indication of whether you may be able to get a cheaper mortgage elsewhere. There’ll also be information on where you can get advice on the options available to you.
You can get advice from an independent mortgage adviser. Although some advisers provide free advice, some may charge a fee so you should always check this first.
Alternatively, you can contact StepChange Financial Solutions who provide free, impartial, whole-of-market mortgage advice tailored to your individual circumstances.
Making a complaint
We’re sorry if we haven’t got things right. Sometimes we get things wrong, but telling us about it gives us the chance to fix things for you. It also helps us try and stop the same thing happening again in the future.
If we can deal with your complaint within three working days, we’ll call you to make sure that you’re happy with our decision. If you are, we’ll send you a letter to confirm this.
- If we can’t deal with your complaint within three working days, we’ll send you an acknowledgement letter within five working days to let you know that we’ve received your complaint.
- We’ll give you a reference number in case you need to contact us about your complaint.
- We’ll keep you updated of our progress throughout our investigation.
- Once we’ve completed a thorough investigation, we’ll give you a final response. This will outline the details of our investigation, how we reached our decision and what we’re going to do to put things right.
We have eight weeks to resolve your complaint, but we’ll do everything we can to deal with it as quickly as possible.
If we can’t complete our investigation within eight weeks, we’ll send you a letter to let you know and tell you what steps you can take. This will include letting you know that you can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if you’d rather not wait for us to complete our investigation.
Whether it’s coping with one of life’s upsets, managing health problems, dealing with money issues, or getting support with being a carer, we all need a little help from time to time.
We’ve put together this useful list of organisations to help make getting the support you need as quick and easy as possible.
These links take you to third-party websites which open in a separate tab
Financial & Debt Support
Health & Wellbeing Support