How to deal with mortgage arrears

Reduce your monthly outgoings

Once you have a clear picture of your monthly spending you can look at ways to reduce it.

Cut your mortgage costs 

You may be able to reduce your monthly mortgage payment by asking your lender if you can:

  • extend your mortgage term
  • have a short payment holiday
  • change to interest only payments

There are financial consequences with all of these options. A debt adviser can explain your options but only a regulated financial adviser can recommend a particular option.

Find a regulated financial adviser on

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:

  • council tax support - if your income is low enough
  • a discount - based on your situation

Council tax support

Council tax support 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.  

Apply for council tax support on GOV.UK


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.

Apply for a council tax discount on GOV.UK

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.

Find out how to switch provider from Citizens Advice

Last updated 31 Oct 2019 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.