Remember: If you take action at the earliest opportunity you will have a much better chance of improving your situation.
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.
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.
Think carefully before signing up to a sale and lease back scheme. There may be major risks involved.
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 the leaflet below for advice:
or find advice on the National Homelessness Advice Service website.
Generally, you should:
- Contact your Lender
- Get Advice
- Attend Court (if required)
- Contact the Council if you are at risk of losing your home
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
- Think whether you can increase your income at all - Could you take in a lodger, for example?
- List all your household expenditure to see if there's any spending you can reduce.
- Check whether a better mortgage deal is on offer.
- 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 your debts and get advice from a qualified Money Advisor.
- Speak to all your creditors (like your mortgage lender or landlord) and make an offer of what is affordable to you to pay.
- Check to see that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Visit the Entitledto website.
- Explore all the options available to you (see the Housing Needs team for help and advice) - For example, could you consider moving to a smaller home?
Organisations in Oxford that can help
- Citizens Advice Oxford, St. Aldate's, Oxford. Visit the Citizens Advice Oxford website for more details
- Advice Centres in Blackbird Leys, Rose Hill and Barton. Visit our Advice Centres page for contact details.
- Visit the Debt Advice Foundation website
- Oxford City Council - Housing Duty Service - To book an appointment please call 01865 249811, and select option 3 for housing and then option 4 for homelessness.
You can take a free, confidential money health check on the Money Advice Service website.
You can also contact the following for more advice: