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Support for mortgage interest under Universal Credit

Getting help towards the cost of your mortgage and/or other loans secured on your home.

If you are an owner occupier or in a shared ownership scheme, Universal Credit may help with the interest on a mortgage and/or other loan secured on the property you live in. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), and is paid as part of the Housing element.

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 Universal Credit continuously for 9 assessment periods (9 months)
  • have not had any earned income during that time

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.

The amount of SMI payable

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, not your actual interest rate. This is currently 2.09% (it was 2.61% between April 2018 and April 2021).

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).

Providing information

If you and/or your partner do have mortgage(s) or other loans secured on your home, you will be asked for details of these.

Universal Credit will then contact all your mortgage lenders or loan providers to confirm the details you have given.