How to deal with mortgage arrears
Reduce your outgoings
You may be able to pay less each month towards your mortgage and household bills.
Mortgage payment breaks
Mortgage payment breaks are also called payment holidays or payment deferrals.
You make no payments or reduced payments for an agreed period.
Your payments usually go up after the payment break ends. This is because any money you did not pay during the break is added to the amount you owe.
You should speak to your lender and seek independent financial advice to check if you can get a payment break.
Your lender should contact you before the end of the payment deferral period to check on your financial situation and discuss what happens next.
Mortgage payment breaks may show on your credit report.
StepChange has more on payment holidays.
Other options to reduce mortgage costs
Check if you have insurance that will cover your mortgage payments. For example, mortgage payment protection or insurance through your current account.
Ask your lender about other ways they could help. For example, they could:
change your mortgage so you only pay the interest
extend your mortgage term so you pay less per month
Lower payments to other creditors
Get advice to deal with other debts. For example:
bank loans and credit cards
car finance and hire purchase
store cards and catalogues
Speak to your energy supplier
Ask for support if you're struggling with your gas and electricity bills. Your supplier can:
delay your bill
remove late payment charges
allow you to pay over a longer period
Find out about grants and schemes that help with energy bills.
Switching energy supplier is unlikely to save you money because of high energy prices. You can check if there are better deals using the energy comparison tool from Citizens Advice.
You might not be able to change suppliers if you owe money to your current supplier.
Get help with water bills or switch to a meter
You can get help if you struggle to pay your water bills.
You could also save money with a water meter if you have a larger home with spare bedrooms. But it might cost more if you have a large family or live in a smaller home.
You can usually try a water meter with the option of changing back within the first year if it's more expensive.
Pay less council tax
You council tax bill could go down because of a:
reduction if you're on benefits or a low income
discount based on your situation, for example if you live alone
A council tax reduction is often called council tax support.
Find out if you can pay less council tax.
Shop around for internet, phone and TV deals
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 broadband, phone and TV provider from Citizens Advice.
You could get cheaper broadband and phone tariffs if you get benefits like universal credit or pension credit. These deals do not always appear on comparison websites.
Other money help
You could get emergency grants, loans and money help for things like food and other essentials if your situation is urgent.
Last updated: 28 April 2022