Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
Both when you're applying for your mortgage and once you have it, it's important to remember that your circumstances could change for reasons outside of your control. Nobody enjoys thinking about things like redundancy, a change in your salary or long term illness but it's important to recognise that there are situations which might affect your ability to meet your mortgage repayments and to plan for how you'd cope.
Your mortgage is a big commitment which lasts for a long time. It's inevitable that things will change during the lifetime of your mortgage and it's worth considering what impact these changes could have. It's important not to overstretch and to leave yourself some flexibility. Our article on affordability gives some useful information. The government's Money Advice Service has an affordability calculator (opens in a new window), which lets you see what will happen to your monthly payments should things change.
During the life of your mortgage it's likely that interest rates will change at some point. It's worth knowing what effect this could have on your mortgage payments, and checking that you could still afford to meet your payments should this happen.
Having some money put aside for a rainy day can help if your circumstances change. Savings accounts can be useful. The Money Advice Service recommends saving three months' outgoings, including your mortgage payments . Yorkshire Bank have a wide range of savings accounts, some of which offer instant access to your money, should things take a turn for the worse.
You may have taken out mortgage protection insurance. This insurance could help with your mortgage repayments if your income has fallen due to an accident, illness or redundancy. This is no longer a product offered by the bank, if you want to consider taking insurance out when you agree your mortgage you can visit the Money Advice Service website for free and impartial advice.
Not making your monthly payments could put your home at risk so it's important that you let your lender know if you're having financial difficulty. If you have a Yorkshire Bank mortgage, our Financial Solutions and Customer Management team can be reached by phone on 0800 023 2201. You and your lender should be able to come to an agreement, for example, extending the term of your mortgage or reducing monthly payments for a period.
When your circumstances change the Money Advice Service (opens in a new window) recommends looking at which of your outgoings may be non-essential. If you cancel a gym membership or a satellite TV subscription would it help you meet essential costs like your mortgage? Can you save money on your weekly grocery shop by cutting down on luxuries?
An advisor from your local Citizens Advice Bureau (opens in a new window) can provide free and impartial advice if you're having difficulties repaying debt. Many other charities (opens in a new window) may also be able to help.
Check the benefit calculator (opens in a new window) on the gov.uk website. You may be entitled to certain benefits or government help towards your interest payments.
Planning how you'd cope with financial difficulty will protect your home and yourself if your circumstances change for the worse. If things do change, you're not alone. Talk to your lender, they'll be keen to help where possible and it may be easier to find a solution than you'd think.
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