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Support for customers experiencing financial difficulties
Introducing the Mortgage Charter
As a responsible lender, making sure our customers feel supported and protected is central to everything we do.
In these challenging times, we understand that you may be struggling with your finances and general household bills which is why we’ve signed up to the government’s Mortgage Charter.
The Charter has been created to give people concerned about making their mortgage payments the breathing space they need to help them take control of their finances.
We know your mortgage is probably the largest bill you have to worry about, so here’s three options to help making your repayments feel more manageable.
The Mortgage Charter is available to residential customers who are currently up to date with their mortgage payments. For buy to let customers or customers who have already missed a mortgage payment, please visit our Further support for customers experiencing financial difficulties section.
1. Switching to a new product with us
Switching to a new product may be a good way to help you lower your repayments.
To speak with someone about switching to a new product with us, please call our customer support team on 0333 240 6180.
2. Temporary interest only arrangement
You can take out an interest only agreement for up to six months without it impacting your credit file. This will temporarily reduce your monthly payments by only paying the interest instead of making payments towards the current balance of your mortgage, also known as the capital balance. We’ll write to you before it’s due to finish to explain what options you have to pay back the capital balance that is not paid during the interest-only arrangement.
Things to consider:
- Higher monthly mortgage payments after the temporary interest only period. As you’re only paying off the interest on your mortgage, your capital balance won’t be reducing.
- Capital balance will continue to have interest charged on it. This means you’ll end up paying more interest over the remaining term of your mortgage.
To speak with someone about an interest only arrangement, please call our customer support team on 0333 240 6180.
3. Extending your mortgage term
Extending the length of your mortgage term means you’ll benefit from lower payments as you’ll be paying your mortgage balance over a longer period.
You will be able to reduce the term up to six months after the extension takes effect without an affordability assessment, which can take you back to the original term or a term in between the original term and your new term.
If you want to reduce the term after the six months term extension, an affordability assessment will be required.
Please note this is not available for customers with an interest only mortgage.
Things to consider:
- Your mortgage will take longer to pay off. If you decide to change back to your original term, your payments will be higher but you’ll be paying less interest so your mortgage will be paid off sooner.
- The overall cost of your mortgage will increase.
- As interest rates change, your payment may also change.
To speak with someone about extending your mortgage term, please call our customer support team on 0800 781 8558.
You can only choose one of these options under the Mortgage Charter.
These are not long-term solutions; they should only be used as a last resort as they will end up costing you more. If you can meet your mortgage repayments, then you should continue to do so.
Under the terms of the Charter, we don’t need to assess whether these options are affordable for you, nor whether they are suitable for you. This is known as ‘execution only’ and any changes to your mortgage will be carried out on an execution only basis.
We’re unable to provide you with advice so we recommend you seek any independent advice from a legal and financial professional before entering into this arrangement.
It will take up to 15 days from the date we receive your signed forms to make the necessary changes to your account. If you’ve a payment that’s due during the 15-day period, you’ll need to pay it as normal.
Further support for customers experiencing financial difficulties
If you’re worried about meeting your mortgage or loan repayments, now or in the near future, we’re here to help you. We’ll work with you to provide support that’s tailored to your individual circumstances and based on what you can afford to pay. Your credit score will not be impacted by contacting us to find out what options are available.
If you want to talk to someone please call our customer support team as soon as possible on 0800 781 8558, they’re available between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. You may also find it useful to visit the MoneyHelper or UK Finance websites for out-of-hours assistance. In addition, we’ve also listed some free third party resources at the foot of the page.
If you’re concerned about your ability to make future mortgage payments, either as a residential borrower or as a buy to let borrower whose tenant hasn’t paid, we may be able to consider making some changes to your mortgage account for a short period of time to help you manage your payments.
It’s important to remember that if we’re able to agree a temporary change to your mortgage payments, the amount unpaid will still be owed when the change comes to an end. If you pay less than the interest due your mortgage balance will increase, as will the amount of interest you pay over the remaining term of the mortgage. We’ll also need to report the arrangement to the credit reference agencies, which could affect your ability to borrow money in the future.
Information we’ll need from residential borrowers
To enable us to consider what support we can give you, we’ll need a full understanding of your current household income and expenditure. We’ve worked alongside Paylink Solutions to enable our customers across the Group to complete an online income and expenditure form.
Information we’ll need from buy to let borrowers
To enable us to consider what support we can give you, we’ll need a full understanding of your current circumstances, which may include a review of your personal finances as well as the issues with your rental income.
For customers who have up to and including three rental properties, we’ve worked alongside Paylink Solutions to enable our customers across the Group to complete an online income and expenditure form. If you’re unable to access the online income and expenditure form you can complete a manual income and expenditure form..
If you’re a landlord with four or more rental properties, the online facility may not be suitable to assess your circumstances. However we’d still suggest you complete a manual income and expenditure form. to aid the discussions.
Completing the online income and expenditure form
When you access the online income and expenditure form you'll be directed to an external website where you'll see reference to all brands within our Group.
Completing this form and submitting it through the portal will allow us to assess the information before we call you to discuss the matter further. We aim to deal with all requests within five working days. If you haven’t heard from us in this time please call our team on 0800 781 8558.
Once completed you can email the form to us at [email protected]. Please be aware that this is an unencrypted mailbox and any personal information sent to it will not be secure.
Alternatively, you can return the completed form to us by post at the address below.
PO Box 6075,
A member of our team will call you within seven working days to discuss your request further.
Should you have any questions before completing either form please contact us directly.
If we’re unable to offer assistance our team will provide guidance on what steps you need to take and may suggest that you seek independent financial advice. We cannot offer advice about debts you hold with other organisations. In such instances, you should speak to the organisation involved and/or approach an independent free debt advice service. Contact details for some of these services are listed below. There are also a number of self-help tools, money guidance sites or debt advice options which are available to you at the foot of this page.
Additional help and support
Below are some additional links to debt advice organisations where free advice and support is available.
Financial support charities
Personal advice websites
- Money Saving Expert
- Gingerbread - advice for single parent families
- Domestic Abuse Support
Credit reference agencies
Have you heard about PayPlan?
PayPlan is an organisation that offers free, simple, independent debt advice to anyone who needs it. Their mission is to help people become debt-free through clear, honest advice and debt solutions that work.
They’ll show you the different debt solutions available for your circumstances so you know what your options are, and how each one could help you. They could set up a debt solution that fixes your situation, lowers your repayments and gives you the chance to move forward with your life.
To improve your relationship with money, PayPlan have resources available such as a list of organisations to support your mental health, as well as offering tools to help you organise your finances.
They could help you with:
- taking the stress away from debt
- looking after your wellbeing
- reducing your spending
- working out your budget
- setting your financial goals
Don’t know where to start? If you’d like to improve your finances, it could help to look at the bigger picture and create a budget planner showing all of your incoming and outgoing finance.
Find the budget planner that works for you:
Once you have your budget, you can prioritise your important bills or debts and also spot where you could make your savings.
Reduce your spending:
Even if you’re not facing financial difficulties there are ways to save money and we’ve listed some of the things that could help you save.
- Review subscriptions on a regular basis to see if you could get a better deal on your TV, broadband, mobile or energy bill before the end of your contract.
- Set up automatic payments in order to avoid potential late fees.
- If you drive, try walking or cycling more. As well as saving you money, it could help you get healthier without a gym membership.
- When you get unexpected cash, try to do one thing with it that saves money in the long run.
Food and drink:
- If you enjoy a coffee, check out each store’s loyalty scheme. You can sometimes get bonus points from bringing a reusable cup – earning you a free drink faster.
- Try your local market instead of the supermarket, if they’ve got reduced overheads you could save more money.
- If you do go to the supermarket try only going once a week to help avoid buying more. Buy own-brand food, and go around 7pm to purchase reduced-to-clear items that could be frozen to eat later. It may also help to make a list before you go to keep you from buying items on impulse.
- Create a meal planner to avoid food waste.
- Try growing your own vegetables. As meat is more expensive, you could experiment with a variety of vegetarian meals you enjoy too.
- Prepare lunch before work instead of going out to eat.
- Book your holidays in advance and shop around to find the best price.
- You could buy clothing, jewellery or home decor second hand
- and it helps to recycle.
- Before you buy something, try checking for vouchers first.
- Explore free resources such as museums or borrow books from your local library instead of buying them.
- Turning down your thermostat by just one degree could make a big difference to the amount of energy you use and could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.1
- Unplugging or switching off televisions, computers and video games consoles at the power switch when not in use could save you up to £70 a year.2
- Consider using a shower timer. Using the shower for four minutes or under could save up to £95 per year.3
- Washing clothes at a lower temperature could save you up to £40 a year. Modern washing machines can clean clothes effectively at lower temperatures and turning down the dial could help you get three cycles instead of two using the same amount of energy.2
- Asking your energy supplier to install a smart meter will show you exactly how much energy your appliances are using and help you gauge the overall energy consumption of your home.
1 Turn down one degree (wwf.org.uk)
2 Energy saving tips to save money - Help for Households
3 10 Ways To Save Money On Gas & Electricity Energy Bills - Which?