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.

Apply for a council tax discount on GOV.UK

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.  

Apply for council tax support on GOV.UK

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.

Find out how to switch provider from Citizens Advice

Last updated 10 July 2020 | © Shelter

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