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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Support for Mortgage Interest

If you had safe and secure accommodation before going into custody you should try to keep it, if possible, while you’re in prison.

You may not want to inform your landlord or mortgage lender that you're in prison, but you have to keep them informed.

If you are paying off a mortgage and you are on remand, you may be able to get help with your repayments. You'll only get help towards the interest on your mortgage and you'll only get help for a certain amount of time.

If you’re on qualifying benefits you may be entitled to Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). This is paid in addition to certain social security benefits and can help you meet some or all of the interest payments on your mortgage.

Mortgage interest rates have been low for a number of years but they'll probably increase soon. Unless you've got a fixed rate mortgage, your payments will go up once the interest rate increases. Use this calculator to work out how much more you'll have to pay.

The help you get to pay your mortgage interest has changed.  The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) benefit came to an end on 5 April 2018, and has been replaced with the offer of a loan. 

If you receive certain income-related benefits, you may be entitled to some help with the interest payments on loans secured on your home. Normally, you will have to serve a 39 week waiting period before you will start to receive this financial help and not all loans will qualify for this financial assistance. This financial assistance is called Support for Mortgage Interest. From 6 April 2018 any payments made to help homeowners with the interest charges on loans or mortgages will be in the form of an interest-bearing loan and may have to be repaid. 

The Bank of England has announced the first rise in interest rates since 2007. After the Brexit referendum last June, the Bank of England reduced the cost of borrowing to 0.25%, but this announcement brings the interest rate back up to 0.5%. The people who will be most adversely affected by this increase are those households with variable rate mortgages. If you have a variable rate mortgage, your payments will increase because of this change. 

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