Existing mortgage customers

Support and advice if you’re facing financial difficulty

Please don’t ignore the problem

If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage there are different options available that may ease your situation and help to resolve the issue.

The information on this page explains the things you should consider, and what we can do to help.

Contact us on 0800 001 5145.

Our lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Calls may be monitored and recorded.

It would be helpful if you have your mortgage account number to hand when you contact us. You can find this on your mortgage statement or any other letters we’ve sent you about your mortgage.


  • There are a number of steps you can take to help with the situation:

    • If you’re struggling with your financial commitments, you should pay all your essential bills first, for example your mortgage, utility bills, insurances, council tax and housekeeping. You should ensure you pay these essential bills first before making any payments towards credit cards or loans.
    • Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
    • If you have an insurance policy, for example income protection insurance, check whether this could help with your payments.
    • Seek debt advice, for example from Citizens Advice, if you'd like help managing your finances.
    • Make sure you keep all joint mortgage holders, and anyone acting as a guarantor on the mortgage, up to date with what's happening.
    • Get back to us quickly if we try to contact you to discuss your mortgage.
  • If you've fallen behind with your payments, we'll do the following:

    • Attempt to contact you as soon as possible.
    • Give you a reasonable period of time to pay back the debt.
    • Talk to an agency which gives debt advice, for example Citizens Advice.
    • Offer to send a debt counsellor to see you to discuss your financial circumstances. There’s a fee, but the cost of the visit may be added to your mortgage account.
    • Attempt to arrange a new payment plan with you, taking both your interests and our responsibilities as the lender into account. If a plan is agreed, it’s important that you keep to it – or you tell us if there’s a change in your circumstances that may affect the arrangement.
    • Offer to change the method by which you make your payments or the date on which you make them.
    • See whether we can allow you to pay back your mortgage over a longer period of time to reduce your monthly payments.
    • See if a change to the type of mortgage you have is available to you and if this will reduce your monthly repayments.

    If we can’t offer you any of the options above, we’ll tell you why. If we’re able to offer one or more of them, we’ll explain how each option would work and give you time to consider it.

    You may wish to talk to a professional adviser, such as a debt counsellor or a lawyer, before you change your mortgage arrangements. We strongly advise that you seek independent, free debt advice.

  • Costs and charges

    If your mortgage goes into arrears, we may charge you for administration and legal costs. We’ll tell you the amount you’ll have to pay.

    Legal proceedings

    If we can’t agree on a solution with you to clear your arrears, we may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your home. If proceedings take place, it’s strongly recommended that you attend the court and that you seek independent debt advice.

    The commencement of court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we’ll repossess your home. We’ll keep trying to solve the problem with you. Repossession is a last resort.

    If your home is repossessed, we’ll give you advice about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.

  • If your home is eventually repossessed:

    • We'll sell it for the best price we can reasonably achieve. We'll try to sell it as soon as possible.
    • We'll give you a reasonable time to take your possessions from your home.
    • We’ll use the money raised from selling your home to pay all loans and charges secured by your mortgage.
    • If there’s any money left over, we’ll pay it to you.
    • If there’s not enough money from the sale to pay off the entire mortgage, you’ll still owe us the amount that’s left over (a shortfall debt). We’ll tell you what this is as soon as possible.
    • If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you’ll be responsible for all the money borrowed. This is true even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage.
    • We’ll take account of your income and outgoings when trying to arrange a suitable payment plan for this shortfall debt with you.
    • If we can’t arrange a plan, we may go to court to recover the money, and you might have to pay additional court costs.
    • If a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect whether you are able to get credit in the future.
  • If you think that we haven't treated you fairly in dealing with any arrears on your mortgage, first please talk to us and let us know what the problem is. Please visit our complaints page for more information.

    Debt management firms

    Debt management firms who help consumers create debt management plans need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). From 1st January 2015 some firms may no longer be authorised by the FCA so will not be able to offer any services and will have to cease trading.

    What do you need to do if you discover the debt management firm you use is no longer authorised by the FCA?

    Don't worry

    Free high quality debt advice is available to help you decide on what to do next.

    Act quickly

    Contact us to advise of your situation. We’ll give you some time to sort out another plan with another debt management firm but you need to act quickly because you’re still responsible for paying your debts.

    Contact us

    Contact us on 0800 001 5145.

    Our lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

    Calls may be monitored and recorded.

    Useful links

    Citizens Advice

    Money Helper

    National Debt Line

Scottish Widows Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc. Registered office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales, no. 2065. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under number 119278.