Support for mortgage interest

Support for mortgage interest

What is Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)?

If you are an owner occupier or in a shared ownership scheme, benefits may help with the interest payments on a mortgage and/or other loan secured on the property you live in. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

You may receive SMI if you and/or your partner:

  • have a mortgage and/or loan secured on your property, or make alternative finance payments for the home you live in
  • have been receiving Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit continuously for 39 weeks (exceptions apply)

Since 5 April 2018 SMI became a loan, which means any SMI you receive from this point must be repaid with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home. Prior to this date it was a benefit that did not need to be paid back.

How much will I get?

SMI, if payable, will take account of the balance outstanding on the mortgage and/or other loans secured on your property. A standard interest rate is used to work out the amount you may get. From 18 June 2017 this is 2.61% (it was previously 3.12%).

For working age people help is available for mortgages or loans secured on your property up to a total maximum of £200,000. You may also get help with the actual costs of any eligible service charges.

Any mortgage or loan specifically used for adaptations to your property will not count towards the £200,000 maximum, as long as these adaptations are to meet the needs of a disabled person in the benefit unit (household).

What do I do next?

Support for Mortgage Interest is a very complex part of the benefits system and we recommend you get help from an adviser. More information is also available on help with housing costs.

If you move back into work you may get extra help through the Mortgage Interest Run On scheme.


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