What you'll get
If you qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), you’ll usually get help paying the interest on up to £200,000 of your loan or mortgage.
However, you can only get up to £100,000 if either:
- you’re getting Pension Credit
- you started claiming another qualifying benefit before January 2009 and you were below State Pension age at that time
If you’re already getting SMI and move to Pension Credit within 12 weeks of stopping your other benefits, you’ll still get help with interest on up to £200,000.
The interest rate used to calculate the amount of SMI you’ll get is currently 2.09%.
What you’ll pay back
SMI is paid as a loan. You’ll need to repay the money you get with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home (unless you’re moving the loan to another property).
The interest added to the loan can go up or down, but the rate will not change more than twice a year. The current rate is 0.6%.
If you want to pay the loan back more quickly, you can also make voluntary repayments. The minimum voluntary repayment is £100 or the outstanding balance if it’s less than £100.
How SMI is paid
SMI is normally paid direct to your lender.
Payments can start either:
- from the date you start getting Pension Credit
- after you’ve received Universal Credit for 9 months in a row, as long as you’re not getting certain income
- after you’ve claimed any other qualifying benefit for 39 weeks in a row