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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Mortgage debt

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

When you’re in debt it’s not always easy to recognise that you have a problem and need to get help. Learning how to budget effectively is a good first step. The good news is that there are lots of charities and government funded agencies that can help you with this, so you should never have to pay for debt advice.

Having a careful look at your financial situation is a good starting point for dealing with your debts.

Use these letter templates if you need to negotiate with a lender, landlord or other creditor about debt problems

There are a few key steps you need to take to deal with your debts effectively. A charity that provides debt advice can often help you with this.

The key aspect of budgeting is being honest and realistic, whether you’re listing your income or your outgoings. A financial statement, containing a listing of your income and expenditure, is a starting point for dealing with debt and making a sustainable repayment proposal.

It's essential that you get help and advice if you're struggling to pay your mortgage. The sooner you start dealing with your mortgage debts, the more options you'll usually have. If you ignore the problem it becomes harder to manage and you could end up losing your home.

Lots of people get back on their feet after falling into arrears and manage to keep their home. Falling behind on your mortgage doesn't mean you'll have to hand back your keys or that you'll have to pay everything you owe in a lump sum. Your lender should offer you a range of options to help you get back on track.

When you're in debt, you need to make sure you're making the best possible use of any money coming into your home. Check to see if you're entitled to any benefits or tax credits. You could ask for extra hours at work or rent out a room in your home to increase the amount of money your household has.

You're in negative equity if you owe more on your mortgage or secured loan than your home is currently worth. Selling your home won't clear your debts.

You should only give back the keys to your property if you're absolutely sure that there's no way you can keep your home. Make sure you speak to an adviser at our Mortgage Debt Advice Service before you take this drastic step.

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