It can be complicated to work out how much Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) you might get. You can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator which will calculate how much you may be entitled to.
Housing costs for loans, whether that is a mortgage, home purchase loan, or qualifying home improvement loan, are calculated using a standard rate of interest, not your lender’s actual interest rate for your loan. This means that if your interest rate is higher, there may be a shortfall between the help provided and your contractual payment..
The current standard interest rate used to calculate SMI is 3.12%.
There are also restrictions on the help provided if your mortgage or loan was taken out or increased after you became entitled to one of the means-tested benefit which Support for Mortgage Interest is part of, or if your housing costs are deemed excessive.
In most cases there is also an upper limit on the total loan amount that can be included in your claim. The upper loan limit is usually £200,000 if you claimed Income Support, income based Jobseeker's Allowance or income related Employment and Support Allowance after January 2009 and £100,000 in other cases.
The benefits that Support for Mortgage Interest is part of (with the exception of Pension Credit) are included in the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can receive.
See our Benefit Cap guide for more details.
How will I be paid Support for Mortgage Interest?
The payment is usually made direct to the lender. You can not get help towards the amount you borrowed - only the interest.
There are no time limits on how long you can receive Support for Mortgage Interest unless you claimed income based Jobseeker's Allowance after January 2009, in which case Support for Mortgage Interest is generally only available for 104 weeks.
Support for Mortgage Interest run-on
If you or your partner enter full time employment, you might qualify for a Support for Mortgage Interest run-on, even though your entitlement to Income Support, income based Jobseeker's Allowance or income related Employment and Support Allowance will stop.
If you qualify you will receive Support for Mortgage Interest for a run-on period of four weeks - this will be paid as part of Income Support no matter what benefit you were previously in receipt of.
You don't have to make a claim, it will be paid automatically once you let jobcentre plus know you are starting full time work.
Support for Mortgage Interest and other benefits
Support for Mortgage Interest forms part of benefits which count in full as income when calculating your entitlement to other means tested benefits.