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Mortgage arrears

If you fall behind with your mortgage payments you could risk losing your home. This section has advice on what you can do if you are having problems paying your mortgage.

Many home owners have problems paying their mortgage. If you are having financial problems, you need to act quickly, even if the problems are only temporary. If you don't, you could risk losing your home.

In many cases, repossession can be stopped or delayed, even if your lender has already begun court action. You can get free face-to-face advice about your options from a housing aid centre or Citizens Advice Bureau in your area - use the Advice Services Directory to find one.

Dealing with mortgage arrears

Keeping up with your mortgage payments should be your top financial priority. If your home is repossessed and you are evicted because of payment problems, you could become homeless. More about dealing with your mortgage arrears 

Reducing mortgage payments

If you have problems paying your mortgage, it may be possible to reduce your monthly payments. This could make your mortgage more affordable and help you to keep your home. Advice on reducing your mortgage payments 

Renting out your home

If you have problems paying your mortgage, you may be able to rent out a spare room in your home, or move out altogether and let your whole home. It's important that you get permission from your lender first, and that you understand your responsibilities as a landlord. Thinking about renting your home out? 

Help to pay mortgage interest

If you are claiming benefits, you may be entitled to support for mortgage interest (SMI) to help pay the interest. SMI can also pay for the interest on loans you have taken out for repairs or improvements. Help you can get to pay your mortgage interest 

Joint mortgage arrears

If you have a joint mortgage with someone else, you are all equally liable for keeping up the repayments, even if someone moves out. The lender can pursue any one of you for the money if someone fails to pay. How to deal with joint mortgage arrears 

Selling your home voluntarily

If you have problems paying your mortgage, you may decide to sell your home. However, it's important to keep paying as much of your mortgage as you can until you have sold it. This page explains your options. What to think about if you're selling your home voluntarily 

Voluntary repossession

If you can't pay your mortgage, you may want to leave and give your keys to your lender. This is called voluntary repossession or voluntary surrender. Your lender may suggest this if you are unlikely to be able to pay off what you owe, but it should only ever be a last resort. What is voluntary repossession and what are the risks? 

Debt arrangement scheme

If you have mortgage arrears and other debts, for example, a credit card debt, you may be able to apply for a debt payment programme under the Debt Arrangement Scheme. This would give you time to pay off your debts at a rate that is affordable to you. Debt arrangement scheme - could it help with your mortgage arrears? 

Mortgage rescue schemes

Some councils, housing associations and lenders offer mortgage rescue schemes, which allow you to continue living in your home as a tenant if you can no longer pay your mortgage. Think carefully before signing up, some schemes are effective and could help you to keep your home, others may increase your debts. Could a mortgage rescue scheme be an option? 

Mortgage to rent scheme

If you are in danger of having your home repossessed, a mortgage to rent scheme could allow you to remain in your home as a tenant. More about mortgage to rent schemes and who can apply 

Mortgage to shared equity

Mortgage to shared equity (MSE) is a scheme introduced by the Scottish Government as part of the Home Owners' Support Fund. The scheme allows home owners who can no longer afford their mortgages and who have at least 25 per cent equity in their property to reduce their level of secured debt while retaining a stake in the home. How the mortgage to shared equity scheme might help you 


If you owe someone money, they may be able to take out an inhibition against you, which will stop you from selling or transferring ownership of your home or taking out any further secured loans on your home. Get more details about inhibitions 

Mortgage arrears charges

If you have ever built up mortgage arrears, it's probable that your lender has charged you 'arrears fees'. If so, these fees may be penalties or 'unfair' charges and you may be able to get your money refunded for free. Check the fees your lender has charged you are fair 


The Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force 30 September 2010, causing major changes to mortgage repossession law. Get advice on the law and how it might affect you.