SMI or Support for Mortgage Interest is a loan paid by the government to your mortgage lender in order to help qualifying applicants to pay all or part of the interest accruing on their mortgage during times when they are unable to do so.

In order to qualify for SMI, applicants will normally already be in receipt of another qualifying benefit. You can eligible to apply for this loan:

  • from the date you start getting Pension Credit
  • after you’ve had 9 consecutive Universal Credit payments
  • after you’ve claimed any other qualifying benefit for 39 consecutive weeks

You might still be able to get SMI if you apply for one of the qualifying benefits but cannot get it because your income is too high. You’ll then be treated as getting the benefit you applied for.

The interest covered is currently assumed to be 2.61% of the mortgage sum and the interest you will pay on the SMI loan is currently 1.3%. This may vary but will not change more than twice per annum. You’ll need to repay the money you get with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home. You can also make voluntary payments beforehand if you wish.

SMI is capped at interest on a sum of £200,000 if you are working or £100,000 for pensioners or you started claiming another qualifying benefit before January 2009.

Jason Carpenter
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