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There are more than 200,000 people in arrears on their mortgage in the UK. While this number is about half that at the time of the financial crisis around 2008-09, it’s still a significant number of people who are behind when it comes to paying for their home. If you having trouble keeping up with you mortgage payments this 10 step guide should help you find a way out:

Don’t let your debts build up

As the old adage goes – you should fix the roof while the sun is shining. The UK as a whole owes £66 billion in credit card debt and it’s this sort of debt that should be cleared as quickly as possible. While it might not seem an issue at the time, if things take a turn for the worst credit card debts can add to a list of issues.

Pay more while you can

Many mortgages allow you to pay a little more than your set amount each month and this ‘overpaying’ can come in very handy down the line. It will allow you to build up equity and curry favour with a lender if you, for example, lose your job and your ability to pay.

Protect yourself

It is possible to take out a ‘mortgage protection’ policy and this sort of product could come into its own if you come into difficulty and find it hard to keep paying your mortgage.

Know your budget

Repossession could be the end result of your spending spiraling out of control and often this can start off by losing track of what you’re actually spending. Use a budget planner to help you to understand how much money you have available. That way you’ll soon know if your funds are drying up and you’re getting into difficulty.

Act early

All of that means you’ll have the knowledge you need to act early and this is something that is crucial if you want to avoid the worst. Don’t bury your head in the sand and presume things will right themselves.

Claim what you can

If you lose your job then you might well be able to get support by claiming benefits. It’s important to seek this support when it’s open to you rather than being tempted to rely on emptying your savings.

Speak to your lender…

Acting early means speaking to your lender as soon as humanly possible. Ultimately, they want to recover their money so it’s in their interest to try to work out repayment terms that you are able to meet.

…and other experts

It’s also worth speaking to experts who know their way around this sector. You can pay to speak to an advisor or look to a charity of free service.

Consider selling up

If a house becomes a big burden then you might reach the stage in which the only way to stop repossession is to look to sell it quickly and avoid it becoming an even bigger issue.

If it gets to court…

If, however, the matter gets to court then it’s important to fully engage with the procedure. You should attend the court and could still, as The Telegraph notes, stop the proceedings at this point by making an offer to the court.

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