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Help with mortgage costs if you get benefits

This advice applies to England

You might be able to get a government loan to help pay your mortgage interest if you get:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit

The loan is called ‘support for mortgage interest’ (SMI).

You’ll need to pay it back, but usually only when you sell the home or give it to someone else - for example if you give it to your son or daughter, even if you still live there.

If you’re having serious difficulties paying your mortgage, for example, if you’ve started getting letters from your mortgage lender threatening court action, you should get help from an experienced debt adviser.

How much of your mortgage costs can be paid

SMI helps pay the interest payments on your mortgage. It might also help with the interest payments on loans to pay for repairs or home improvements. SMI won't pay off any of the capital of your mortgage.

SMI is paid at a standard rate of interest, regardless of the rate of interest you are actually paying.

This means your SMI payments might not cover all of your mortgage interest payments - you’ll need to pay the rest. If you can't afford to make up the difference, it might be worth asking your lender if they will just accept the SMI payments for the time being until you can make up the full amount at a later date.

You can find out how to deal with your mortgage lender or ask an adviser to help you.

When your SMI will start

When you make a claim for benefits, you'll usually have to wait 39 weeks before your SMI starts.

If you're entitled to Guarantee Pension Credit, there's no waiting period and you can get SMI straight away.

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