Navigating Mortgage Arrears

According to the UKFinance’s Mortgage Arrears and Possessions report, 81,900 homeowner mortgages were in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance in Q2 2023 [1]

Borrowers have faced 14 consecutive interest rate hikes. This, coupled with the increase in daily living costs, takes its toll on household budgets. Those with mortgages in arrears often have variable rates, making them more susceptible to the immediate effects of rising interest rates. For individuals with fixed-rate mortgages, UK Finance’s earlier analysis indicated the challenges weren’t primarily due to the shock of transitioning to a pricier fixed-rate deal. Rather, the escalating cost of living was the key factor straining their repayment capabilities. [2]

With mortgage arrears on the rise, how can you find relief and regain control of your financial future?

Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. If you are in mortgage arrears, you should talk to a debt specialist. See the bottom of this article for further advice.

Understanding the Cause of Mortgage Arrears

Getting into arrears on your mortgage can be caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Sudden unemployment or reduced income.
  • Increasing interest rates.
  • Unexpected expenses or financial emergencies.
  • Overextending oneself with credit or borrowing more than you can comfortably repay.

Awareness is the first step towards change. By identifying what’s caused falling into arrears, you can start to take targeted actions to remedy the situation.

Review Your Mortgage Terms

Consider reaching out to your lender to discuss your current mortgage terms. Many banks and building societies offer hardship provisions or options for restructuring your mortgage loan to help manage repayments better. There’s no shame in asking for support when faced with financial challenges. 

Open Communication Lines with your Lender

If you’re struggling with repayments, it’s crucial to communicate with your lender. Keeping them informed about your financial situation and your intent to resolve the issue can be beneficial. Lenders often prefer to find a solution that works for both parties, rather than considering the last resort of repossession.

Craft a Robust Budget and Prioritise Your Spending

A well-structured budget can be a game-changer for those facing mortgage arrears. Outline your income, identify essential expenses, and allocate funds to repay outstanding debts. You may discover areas where you can cut back, freeing up more of your income for mortgage repayments.

While we all enjoy the luxury of life from time to time, if you are faced with mortgage arrears, it may be time to re-evaluate your spending habits. Redirecting funds from non-essential expenses to your mortgage can make a significant difference in reducing your debt.

Your Support Bubble

Discussing your financial situation with your support bubble, such as family and close friends, can offer both emotional support and potential solutions. They often rally in times of financial strain, offering understanding, advice, or even tangible assistance. Sharing the burden can also alleviate the mental stress that comes with facing such challenges alone. 

A collective approach to problem-solving might reveal strategies or resources previously overlooked. Remember, transparency and open dialogue with loved ones can be an important step towards navigating and overcoming your current situation.


Mortgage arrears are a challenge that many UK residents face, so don’t feel alone if you’re one of them. Armed with the right knowledge and support, it is possible to navigate these turbulent waters and find a way to get back on track. Be patient. It takes time to get back on track financially. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.

Remember, mortgages are long-term commitments, and economic landscapes can shift over the years. While the current scenario might seem daunting, with informed decisions, proactive measures, and the right guidance, you can secure a brighter financial future.

There are many free impartial money advice services that can offer support when facing challenging times. 

For general advice, you can contact:

MoneyHelper: free, unbiased money advice.

Phone: 0800 138 7777


Citizens Advice: free advice on issues such as debt management, welfare benefits, housing, employment and consumer complaints.

Phone (England): 0800 144 8848 

Phone (Wales): 0800 702 2020 

Phone (Scotland): 0800 028 1456 


[1] UKFinance’s Mortgage Arrears and Possessions report – August 2023

[2] Consecutive Rate Rises and Increases in Cost of Living Starts to Impact on Mortgage Arrears – August 2023,rise%20at%20an%20increased%20pace.&text=As%20mentioned%20last%20quarter%2C%20increases,per%20cent%20of%20outstanding%20mortgages.



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