Here are a few things you may wish to think about when contemplating your mortgage and what-if type questions:

1: Contact your mortgage provider

If your circumstances change and you find yourself doubting your ability to meet your mortgage repayments, you must contact your mortgage provider as soon as possible.  Try to tell them, in advance, of your problem and avoid their first notice being when you start missing your agreed payments.  The latter would typically be interpreted as irresponsible behaviour and may make them a little less sympathetic to your predicament and less flexible in what they do to help.

2: Negotiate with your lender

Try to negotiate with them in order to obtain perhaps a temporary switch to interest-only repayment status or a short-term repayment holiday. Not all lenders may be willing to offer these things but some might and if so, it may help your situation.

3: Personal circumstances

Remember that lenders may be far less sympathetic in situations where you have shown a degree of culpability leading to your difficulties in meeting your repayments.  Examples might include things such as resignations from an existing job when you do not have another one to go to or suddenly opting for career breaks, study leave or sabbaticals before protecting your income stream.

4: Mortgage insurance

If you have any form of mortgage insurance, you should also notify your insurance provider as soon as possible. Do not, under any circumstances, make a unilateral decision to stop paying your premium without discussing the position with them first.  Of course, if the situation resulting in your difficulties is covered by the policy, then you may need to speak to them as the first stage in making your claim. Providers may not be able to offer assistance and guidance relating to insurance if you have not notified them of your particular problems.

5: Check the level of cover

As is the case with mortgage providers, keep in mind that many forms of mortgage cover policy may not cover situations where you have brought about the circumstances yourself.

6: Keep  records

In situations where your problems are being caused by events such as sickness, accidents or redundancy, you must remember to keep safe all appropriate documentary evidence.  Things such as doctors letters, medical examinations or your notice of compulsory redundancy, may be instrumental in you securing any insurance benefits you have been paying for or indeed any state aid.

7: Seek professional advice

Do not rely entirely on state benefits if you are trying to protect your mortgage.  Government help in situations where you are unable to meet your repayments may be extremely limited and by no means guaranteed.

There are many different sets of circumstances that might lead you into a position of struggling to meet your mortgage repayments. As a result, there is no one single set of things that needs to be done, as these situations may vary considerably.

The single most important piece of advice is, however, to avoid doing nothing.

Instead, try to get and stay ahead of events.


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