Can Universal Credit Help With My Mortgage? Benefits
If you find yourself in a position where you need financial help for a property that you own, Universal Credit may be able to help. With money available to help with mortgage interest rates, and rent, you can use this guide to find out whether you’re eligible for some help.
Can Universal Credit help if I own my own property?
If you or your partner own the home that you’re living in and you’re eligible for Universal Credit, you may be able to get a Universal Credit payment. In order to qualify, you have to undergo a qualifying period. The qualifying period is currently 39 weeks without any breaks.
If you qualify, money can be made available to help with the cost of home insurance, repairs, maintenance or buying your property. It can also help with any service charges such as using shared facilities, such as window cleaning of upper floors, rubbish collection or communal lifts.
What options are available?
If you have been on benefits for 39 weeks or more without any breaks, you may be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). This is a loan that can help towards the interest payments on your mortgage or loans that you’ve taken out for repairs and improvements to your home.
If accepted, you can get help paying the interest on up to £200,000 of your loan or mortgage. An SMI needs to be repaid with interest when you sell or transfer the ownership of your home.The amount that you receive will be based on a set rate of interest on what’s left of your mortgage and will be paid directly to the lender. It’s important to note that you will not qualify for an SMI if you have a certain income. A certain income is defined as any of the following:
- Earnings from your job if employed or self-employed
- Tax Refund
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Statutory Maternity Pay
- Statutory Paternity Pay
- Statutory Adoption Pay
- Statutory Shared Parental Pay
If you live in a shared ownership property, you can get help paying the rent and mortgage. The payment will have to be paid straight to your housing association and mortgage company and must not be spent on anything else.
How to apply for housing payments?
If you already receive Universal Credit, you can apply for housing payments in your online account. However, if you haven’t yet done this, you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit before applying for a housing payment. Once you’ve applied, you may have to attend an interview at your local JobCentre Plus. You will then be informed if you are required to book an appointment or bring any evidence. Evidence for those who own their own home could be a mortgage agreement, mortgage statement or bank statement showing mortgage payments.
If you haven’t yet applied for Universal Credit, you’ll be asked questions regarding your housing costs to see if you are eligible for SMI during the process. If you qualify, you’ll then be offered a loan. If you’re already on Universal Credit or another qualifying benefit and you’re interested in a SMI, contact the office that pays you to see if you would qualify.
Get help with your claim
Here at Building Better Opportunities, our expert team can help to answer any questions that you may have regarding your Universal Credit or other benefits. If you have any questions, get in touch or maybe our guide on Universal Credit could help.
We are a lottery-funded organisation that’s dedicated to supporting individuals, couples and families across Stafford and South Staffordshire with their finances, employment status and their health and wellbeing. Contact us or visit your nearest Work Club for more help.