How to deal with mortgage arrears
Reduce your other outgoings
Look at ways to reduce other important monthly bills.
Ask for a payment holiday during coronavirus
You can ask for a payment holiday on your gas and electricity bills. No disconnections should take place during the outbreak.
For most payment holidays, you have until a certain date to apply. For example:
- bank loans and credit cards - by 31 October 2020
- store cards and catalogues - by 31 October 2020
- car finance, payday loans and hire purchase - by 27 July 2020
- insurance products - by 18 August 2020
You may be charged interest during some agreed payment holidays. And it could show up on a credit check.
Money Saving Expert has more information on what is offered by different lenders.
Switch energy supplier
Use the energy comparison tool from Citizens Advice to search for a cheaper deals on gas and electricity.
You might not be able to change suppliers if you owe money to your current supplier.
Consider a water meter
With a meter you pay for the water you use rather then paying water rates which are based on the size of your property.
Not everyone is better off with a meter.
It could be cheaper if you have a larger home with spare bedrooms. It might cost more if you have a large family or live in a smaller home.
You can usually try a water meter for up to 1 year. You have the option to change back within this time if it's more expensive.
Pay less council tax
There are 2 ways that you might be able to reduce your council tax bill:
- a discount - based on your situation
- council tax support - if your income is low enough
You can get a 25% discount on your bill if you're the only adult living in your home.
You might qualify for a reduced council tax bill if a disabled person lives there. Your home must have extra rooms to meet the needs of that person or be adapted for wheelchair use.
Council tax support
This is sometimes called council tax reduction. The scheme is run by your local council. Rules vary but you can usually get a reduction on your bill if you're on a low income.
Coronavirus update: If you get council tax support, you'll get an extra £150 reduction on your council tax bill this year in addition to the usual reduction. You don't need to apply for this.
Shop around for TV, phone and internet
Check price comparison sites for cheaper deals.
If you find one, contact your current provider before you switch. They might offer an even better deal to keep you as a customer.
Last updated 10 July 2020 | © Shelter
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