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Are you eligible for SMI?

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is a benefit which can be paid to support homeowners. However, it is not well known among many homeowners, and very few people would know whether they were eligible or how to make a claim.

If a homeowner is struggling to make repayments on their mortgage, they may be able to claim SMI, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria, which is described by Gov.uk as:

“If you’re a homeowner getting certain income-related benefits you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage and loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.”

The benefit isn’t paid to the homeowner, but instead paid directly to the lender. If eligible, help will be received up to a limit of £200,000 interest on the mortgage or loan, or up to £100,000 if in receipt of pension credit. The benefit is only paid towards the interest, and not the amount borrowed.

If eligible, the benefit will be paid to the lender 39 weeks following a claim for jobseeker’s allowance, income support or other income-related benefit. However, SMI is being phased out by the government for any claims made after 7 July 2017, but eligible claimants will receive an SMI loan instead. The loan becomes repayable when the homeowner either transfers ownership to a friend or relative, sells the property, or dies.

Whilst searching for the right mortgage product to suit your own personal circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a CeMAP qualified mortgage advisor, who will be able to offer help and guidance on the matter.

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