MP Karin Smyth is urging people she represents in south Bristol to promptly contact their mortgage lender if they feel an upcoming change in mortgage benefit will hit them.
The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme sees the government making interest payments – usually directly to the lender – on the first £200,000 of outstanding mortgages for those who can’t afford it (the first 100,000 for people getting Pension Credit).
From 6 July, the scheme will change for the first time since October 2010, because the interest rate the government pays will drop from by half a per cent, from 3.63% to 3.12%. For someone with a £150,000, 25-year home loan, monthly payments made directly by the government would fall from £454 to £391 – a difference of £63 per month.
“There has been very little publicity about this change,” said Karin Smyth “but it will affect hundreds of people living across Bristol who are struggling to pay their mortgage.
“If you currently get help from the SMI scheme and are worried about being able to pay your mortgage after this change is made, the expert advice is to contact your lender as soon as possible to see if they can help.
“You can also call my constituency office on 01179 533 575 for further advice.”