I’m struggling with my mortgage can I force my lender to give me a better rate?

1 min Read Published: 19 Sep 2013

Get an answer to your financial question online Reader Question:


I took out a mortgage with Santander in 2010 it was a repayment mortgage of £230,000 (2 year fixed rate).

First year I paid on time and everything was fine. Second year I switched to interest only (lost my job) and they offered a one year period where I pay interest only. Third year I am forced to the repayment mortgage and I've been late in paying this a few times.

I was wondering what I can do to lower my mortgage. Is it possible to force (with legislation) for them to offer me a cheaper rate deal as they have cheaper products (5 year fixed rate) and I am on the expensive SVR. A cheaper rate deal would help me massively and lessen the risk of me making late payments.

Please shine some much needed light!

My response: 

The first thing to do is contact your lender ASAP and discuss the problem you are having meeting the mortgage repayments. It is far better to discuss the issue with the lender and agree a missed payment with them before doing so, otherwise you will be in arrears and on the potential path towards repossession.

Often people feel embarrassed talking to a stranger about their personal finances, but staff employed by lenders are trained in dealing with this type of problem and are usually sympathetic. When talking to your lender find out about all the options available. Maybe you could change your mortgage to interest only again for a period of time, extend the mortgage term, change the payment date or even arrange a short payment 'holiday'. However, you need to be aware that any change to your mortgage terms will mean that the loan will take longer to pay off and, therefore, cost you more in the long term. Unfortunately you can't force your lender to give you a better rate.

Take advice

There are a number of charities that offer free debt advice, to find out more read my article - Where to get free debt advice. Taking advantage of theses services at an early stage can provide you with invaluable advice and help you resolve your problems quicker.

Also read my article 7 tips for dealing with mortgage arrears.

Best Wishes



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