Money Advice Service

If you’re struggling to meet your mortgage repayments there’s a range of government schemes that offer help. These include the Mortgage Rescue scheme, Support for Mortgage Interest, and other government benefits that might boost your income.

Contact your lender first

To find out how much you can afford to borrow use our Mortgage affordability calculator.

If you are having trouble paying for your mortgage, your first step should always be to contact your lender.

They want to help you to meet repayments.

Your lender is able to discuss your options with you and can offer suggestions, including:

  • Temporary payment arrangements
  • lengthening the term of your mortgage, or
  • Switching temporarily to interest-only repayments.

Get free advice

If you’re anxious about being unable to meet repayments, there are plenty of advice services which provide guidance for free.

These include Shelter, National Debtline and StepChange Debt Charity.

Mortgage Rescue scheme


This scheme is no longer available.


The Welsh Government runs a Mortgage Rescue scheme operated through councils and housing associations with the aim of preventing owner-occupiers becoming homeless.

If you’re considered for the Mortgage Rescue scheme, the council will put you in touch with a housing association.

After assessing your property and your particular financial circumstances, they could either buy a stake in your home (making you a part owner) or buy the property completely and rent it to you.

Renting would make you a tenant of the housing association.

You will only be considered for the Mortgage Rescue scheme if you’ve approached your local authority for help to prevent you and your family becoming homeless.

Read more on the Welsh Government website about your options if you’re worried about losing your home.


The Scottish Government provides some support to home owners struggling to pay their mortgage through its Home Owners’ Support Fund.

The fund operates two schemes which home owners could apply for:

  • The Mortgage to Rent scheme where a social landlord buys your home and rents it back to you.
  • The Mortgage to Shared Equity scheme where the Scottish Government buys up to a 30% stake in your home, which reduces how much you owe on your mortgage. You continue to live in your home but make lower mortgage repayments as a result.
Read more on the Scottish government website.

Support for Mortgage Interest

If you’re claiming a benefit such as income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Universal Credit you might be able to claim help with your mortgage interest payments. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

From April 2018, SMI is changing from a benefit to a repayable loan.

Read our guide Support for Mortgage Interest to find out more about SMI loans and repayment options.
For support in Northern Ireland go to NI Direct.

Help with mortgage payments under Universal Credit

If you’re getting Universal Credit and you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you might be able to get help with your interest payments.

You will only qualify for this if you have no ‘earned income’, such as pay from part-time or full-time work, and you don’t get any benefits from your employer such as Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity Pay.

If you do qualify for help, the payments will usually be made direct to your mortgage lender and will be based on a set rate of interest applied to the amount you have outstanding on your mortgage (up to a maximum of £200,000).

You start to get this after a 3-month waiting period and the payments will stop as soon as you start work again, even if you’re only earning a small amount.

Benefits that might increase your income

It’s worth checking if you’re entitled to benefits to help boost your income to meet mortgage payments.

Check out Turn2Us, a charitable service that helps people access welfare benefits, grants and other support.

Budgeting and cost cutting tips

Check your income and outgoings with our Budget planner to help you.

Follow the links below to work out your monthly income and outgoings and to see if there are any cost cutting tips you could use to help free up cash at the end of each month. Every little will help.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.