NOW OPEN: the MSE Forum 'Ask An Expert' event. This time we'd like your questions on TRAVEL & HOLIDAY DEALS. Post by Wed and deals expert MSE Oli will answer as many as he can.

MSE News: Help for struggling mortgage borrowers confirmed – but Martin says it's 'a thin sandwich'

MSE_PetarMSE_Petar MSE Staff
302 Posts
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
MSE Staff
New guidance designed to help homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments has been published by the financial regulator, though it has been likened to an "empty sandwich" by founder Martin Lewis. However, Martin has said he is hopeful the measures put lenders in a position to be able to offer quick-fire support in the event of future interest rate shocks.

Read the full story:
'Help for struggling mortgage borrowers confirmed – but Martin Lewis says it's 'a thin sandwich''

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.


  • edited 10 March at 6:46PM
    Tulgey_WoodTulgey_Wood Forumite
    35 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker Chutzpah Haggler
    edited 10 March at 6:46PM
    A thin sandwich indeed. I've had an absolute nightmare dealing with my mortgage provider NatWest. After being diagnosed with cancer and being unable to work, I really started to struggle financially, which had a knock on effect on my mental health. So far I've managed not to go into mortgage arrears, but at the expense of not eating properly and not staying warm (I'm down to one meal a day which, obviously, is not good for my health). NatWest offered me zero help. I asked if I could move to interest only while I was ill and surviving on benefits, and they said that option was only available to people with an income above £70k. I eventually applied for Support for Mortgage Interest  from the DWP which, again, has been a complete nightmare to organise with the NatWest. The DWP is now paying £142 a month towards my mortgage (as a loan at a cost of 3%) but NatWest won't reduce my monthly direct debit to account for this (undermining the whole point of the SMI scheme); instead they've told me I will need to cancel the direct debit and make manual payments every month for the difference between my contractual monthly minimum, and the amount of SMI paid by DWP. I've told them this will be too difficult for me: if my cancer treatment makes me very sick, or if my mental health is particularly bad, there's no way I'll have the mental capacity to remember to make the payment on time - which will send me into arrears, and wreck my credit file (and the anxiety of this happening is further impacting my health). So far, they haven't been able to offer me any workable alternative. Their "specialist support" consists of providing phone numbers for citizens advice and Step Change debt charity - but it is only their lack of support that's likely to drive me into debt in the first place. It's just so frustrating, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
  • tehonetehone Forumite
    640 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    Can you up a standing order payment instead?
  • AnniseleAnnisele Forumite
    4.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    @Tulgey_Wood , please do speak to Step Change. I know NatWest have been pointing you there, but Step Change are independent of NatWest and they'll be able to talk you your options.
    It's possible that you don't have any particularly palatable options right now, and I'm very sorry about that. But it's possible that in your circumstances, trashing your credit file is a better option than freezing and not eating (and potentially trashing your health).
    I don't know specifically why you are anxious about your credit file (there are all sorts of possible reasons for that), but depending on your specific reason StepChange might be able to reassure you.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy Price Cap change

Martin Lewis on what it means for you

MSE News

Best £1 you've ever spent?

Share your most impressive bargains

MSE Forum