Money Wellness
Three plastic model houses on a calculator
category iconcost of living
calendar icon09 Nov 2023

Rise in the number of people falling behind with their mortgages

Nearly 90,000 homeowners were behind with their mortgage payments in the third quarter of the year, new figures reveal.

UK Finance’s latest data shows 87,930 homeowner mortgages were in arrears – an increase of 7% on the previous quarter.

The same period also saw a 29% increase in the number of buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages that were in arrears – up to 11,540.

According to UK Finance the increase in numbers is down to cost-of-living pressures and higher interest rates.

It explained interest rate rises tend to hit the BTL sector harder, as landlords can’t always raise rents to cover the increase in their mortgage payments.

Situation not as bad as in 2009

Despite the rising numbers, UK Finance insists things could be worse. It points out, in the third quarter of 2009, the total number of mortgages in arrears was 207,200 – over twice the 99,480 seen during the same period this year.

UK Finance puts this down to the stricter borrowing criteria introduced following the economic crash of 2007-08.

If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments

The first step if you're struggling is to speak to your lender. They have a responsibility to offer tailored support.

The kind of help they may be able to offer includes:

  • extending the term of your mortgage to reduce your payments
  • a temporary switch to interest-only payments
  • a temporary reduction in payments
  • a temporary break in payments

Eric Leenders from UK Finance said:

“Anyone worried about making their mortgage payments should contact their bank as soon as they can.

“All lenders have teams of experts ready to help anyone struggling with their mortgage payments with tailored support.

“The sooner you get in touch, the more support options your lender will be able to offer.

“What’s more, reaching out to your bank to find out what support is available won’t affect your credit score.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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