What to do if you’re struggling to pay your mortgage

Guidance on what to do if you can't pay your mortgage

The rising cost of living is stretching many households’ finances with some struggling to meet the increased costs of essentials, and having little or no savings to fall back on.  This can lead to some families having problems making their monthly mortgage repayments.  

With this in mind, the Building Societies Association (BSA) and the Money Advice Trust have produced a new booklet giving straightforward guidance on what to do if you can’t pay your mortgage, or think you might struggle to make your payments in the coming months. 

Despite what some people believe, telling your lender you are having problems paying your mortgage does NOT mean they will start to repossess your home. Lenders are very sensitive to the rising number of people facing a squeezed household budget, and if they know there is a problem they will do everything possible to help. The earlier your lender knows that you are facing financial difficulties, the greater the chance that you will be able to find a solution.  

The booklet – What to do if you can't pay your mortgage – covers information on the six steps you must take to ensure you don’t lose your home, what to expect when you contact a lender; the role of debt advisers; and a section on where to turn for further help and guidance.  

Along with guidance on what you should do if you’re facing financial difficulties, it also dismisses some of the ‘urban myths’ associated with having mortgage repayment difficulties. 

The booklet is available from the BSA website and will also be made available to people seeking advice from National Debtline and Business Debtline, the free debt advice services run by the Money Advice Trust. 

Commenting on the launch of the booklet, Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA said: 

“Borrowers struggling financially should not bury their head in the sand. If they read this booklet, the guidance contained in it should ease their fears about the process. It should encourage them to contact their lender as soon as possible, with confidence to discuss the options available to them.” 

Jane Tully, Director of External Affairs and Partnerships at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: 

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, it has never been more important for households to have access to the right advice and information.  Rising interest rates are bringing mortgage worries to the fore for many homeowners, and this guidance is designed to help anyone worried about keeping up with their payments.  The key thing to remember is you are not alone – it is always better to contact your mortgage provider to share your concerns, and you can always contact a charity-run service like National Debtline for free, independent advice.” 


Notes to Editors: 

The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 43 UK building societies, as well as 7 credit unions. Building societies have total assets of over £477 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages over £351 billion, 23% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold over £328 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 18% of all such deposits in the UK. Building societies account for 40% of all cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 43,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 1,380 branches. 

Press contacts: 

Katie Wise, External Affairs Officer, Tel: 020 7520 5904, katie.wise@bsa.org.uk

Hilary McVitty, Head of External Affairs, Tel: 020 7520 5926, hilary.mcvitty@bsa.org.uk