Remember: If you take action at the earliest opportunity you will have a much better chance of improving your situation.

Mortgage difficulties

If you are experiencing difficulties with paying your mortgage or are worried about debt, then please don't ignore the problem. There is a lot you can do, and a lot of help available.

If you're struggling to pay, you need to act quickly, even if the problem is only temporary. Mortgage arrears don't automatically lead to repossession but must be taken very seriously. If you're requested to attend court you must attend.

If you're at risk of becoming homelessness

If you're at risk of losing your home and becoming homeless please see If you are at risk of losing your home

Contact your lender

Keeping up with your mortgage payments should be your top financial priority. It may be possible to negotiate to reduce your monthly mortgage payments. Your options will depend on the type of mortgage you have.

If you have problems paying your mortgage, it may be possible to increase your income to make your mortgage more affordable.

Sale and lease buy back schemes

Think carefully before signing up to a sale and lease back scheme. There may be major risks involved.

Financial support and debt management

If you are claiming benefits you might be eligible to apply for Support for Mortgage Interest (paid as a loan).

If you are worried about your mortgage payments, please download advice for managing debt, mortgage and rent problems

You can also find advice on the National Homelessness Advice Service website.

Rent difficulties

If you are struggling to pay your rent or are at risk of losing your home because you owe your landlord rent, you need to take action.

Debts relating to your home should always be your top financial priority.

It is always a good idea to tell your landlord if you are having trouble paying the rent. Your landlord will notice that you haven't paid and is more likely to take action if you ignore the problem. Telling your landlord and offering a practical solution may prevent her/him from trying to evict you, as it shows that you are making an effort to deal with the situation.

Tips and ideas

  • take a free, confidential money health check at the Money Helper website.
  • check you're receiving all the benefits you are entitled to at Entitledto
  • think of ways to increase your income such as taking in a lodger
  • list all your household expenditure and see if there's any spending you can reduce
  • check if there's a better mortgage deal available
  • consider asking your lender to extend the term of your loan or capitalise the amount owed - you should get Independent Financial Advice before committing yourself to any offer
  • prioritise debts and get advice from a qualified Money Advisor
  • speak to all your creditors, such as your mortgage lender or landlord, and make an offer of what is affordable to you to pay
  • explore all the options available to you such as considering whether you could move ot a smaller home (the Housing Needs team can help with this)

More resources

Contact the Housing Needs Team

Address: Town Hall
St Aldate's
Oxford
OX1 1BX

Telephone: 01865 249811