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Getting help with paying your mortgage

Mortgage payment protection insurance
You may have taken out mortgage protection insurance when you got your mortgage. If you did, make sure you claim this if your circumstances have changed. If you are turned down by the insurance company, contact a specialist advice agency, such as
Citizens Advice Bureau or National Debtline, for advice.
Income Support or Job Seeker's Allowance
If you claim Income Support or Job Seeker's Allowance, the Benefits Agency will normally pay some of the interest on the mortgage.

This is how it works:

  • mortgage interest is paid at a standard rate set by the government, unless your interest rate is less than 5% in which case the actual interest rate will be paid
  • all mortgage interest payments are sent directly to your lender by the Benefits Agency, unless your lender is not part of the scheme agreed with the Benefits Agency
  • you can only claim interest on the first 100,000 of your mortgage, unless the extra was taken out to adapt your home for someone with a disability.
Existing borrowers
If you took your current mortgage out before 2 October 1995, you will generally have to wait 8 weeks before getting any help with mortgage interest payments.

You will then only get half of your mortgage interest paid for the next 18 weeks (4 months) of your claim. After this, you will have your mortgage interest paid in full.

New borrowers
If you took out a new mortgage (or remortgaged) after 2 October 1995 and claim Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance you will generally get no help at all with mortgage interest payments for the first 39 weeks (9 months) of your claim.

You will then have your mortgage interest paid in full.

Special rules
If you or your partner are aged 60 or over the Benefits Agency will pay the interest in full immediately with no waiting time.

You will be treated as an existing borrower and not have to wait the full 9 months if:

  • you don't have to sign on because you are caring for someone who is sick
  • you have had a mortgage payment protection insurance claim refused because of pre-existing illness or HIV/AIDS related illness
  • you are a prisoner on remand
  • you have a child living with you and you are claiming Income Support because your partner has died or has deserted you.
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