What do do if you can’t pay your mortgage - Citizens Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland has the following advice for people unable to pay their mortgage, or concerned about their ability to meet future repayments

Q: I’m not sure I’ll be able to meet my monthly payments if the interest rates go up again, what should I do?

A: Before making any decisions about your mortgage, you should consider getting independent financial advice. You can also get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau. Work out what you can afford to pay before speaking with your lender.

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Q: Should I contact my mortgage lender to let them know I’m worried?

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A: If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. They’ll normally write to you within 15 days of a missed payment, but you shouldn’t wait until then to speak to them. Many lenders have specialist support teams who can explain what options they have.

Q:What options might I have?

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A: Lenders have to treat you fairly and consider any request you make to change the way you pay your mortgage. Depending on your circumstances, your lender might offer you the option to change when you pay, repay what you owe at a later date, reduce the amount you pay for a short period of time, repay your mortgage over a longer period, reduce your monthly interest payments, or change to interest-only payments.

Q: How else can I reduce my costs?

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There are fears that rising interest rates and falling house prices could force many homeowners to sell up. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

A: You might be able to switch to cheaper mortgage protection, building or contents insurance. You might have organised insurance with your lender or with another provider. If you have an endowment mortgage, you could think about giving up your endowment policy or selling it off to an investor.

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Q: What if I have to sell my home?

A: If you don’t have enough money to carry on paying your mortgage or the arrears, you might decide that the best course of action is to sell your home. You shouldn’t do this without getting financial advice.

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Selling your home might seem like the only option when your financial situation is difficult, but there might be other ways of dealing with the problem until your circumstances improve. You should also be aware that if you have any difficulty selling your home, you’re still liable for all the costs until it’s sold.

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