If you are a homeowner and you are receiving certain types of income related benefits, you may be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or any loans that you have taken out for certain improvements and repairs around your home. This help is paid as part of your benefits and is known as Support for Mortgage Interest. It’s usually paid direct to your lender.
What you will get:
If you qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest, you’ll get assistance paying the interest on up to £200,000 of your loan/mortgage. If you are receiving Pension Credit, this amount is £100,000.
It’s paid directly to your lender after a 13 week waiting period. If you are receiving pension credit, there is no waiting period. The standard interest rate used to calculate Support for Mortgage Interest is 3.12%.
SMI won’t help you pay:
- The amount that you borrowed- only the interest on your mortgage.
- Towards insurance policies that you have.
- Missed mortgage payments.
If you are getting income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and you apply for SMI for the first time, or started getting it after 2009, you can only get help for the first two years. There is no limit to how long you can receive SMI if you are getting: income support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit.
Contact your local Job Centre to see if you are eligible to receive Support for Mortgage Interest.
Mortgage Interest Run On
If your income support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income based Employment and Support allowance is going to stop because you are about to return to work, work more hours or earn more money, you could still get financial help. This is known as Mortgage Interest run on. You can get this help for four weeks.
If you are eligible, and you were receiving Support for Mortgage Interest, you will usually continue to get the same amount you were getting before your benefits were stopped. However, payments will be made directly to you instead of to your lender.
The following must apply:
- You’ve been claiming one of the above benefits for 26 weeks or more.
- You expect the work/more money to last for at least 5 weeks.
- You were entitled to help with your housing costs before your work started, and you will still have these costs when you start work.
You don’t need to apply, you should get Mortgage Interest Run On automatically. Just make sure that you let your Job Centre office know as soon as you’re starting work.