Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

SMI helps homeowners on benefits to meet their mortgage interest payments provided that the mortgage was used to purchase the home or for work to keep the property fit for occupation.

SMI is available to those claiming:

  • Income support
  • Income based job seeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment allowance
  • Pension credit

SMI covers mortgages with an upper limit of 200,000. You are not able to claim should you work 16 hours or more on a weekly basis, or your partner works 24 hours or more, or should you have savings of 16,000 plus.

In addition to interest payments, SMI can also cover ground rent or specific service charges. Yet, it does not cover the capital part of your mortgage payments or the premiums on an endowment policy.

The timing of the assistance depends on when you started your mortgage, yet you normally begin to receive assistance 13 weeks post claim. SMI is usually paid directly to your mortgage lender and goes into your mortgage account every four weeks in arrears.

Starting on 1 October 2010, the standard rate at which SMI is paid is going to go down from 6.08% to the Bank of England average mortgage rate of 3.63%. The standard rate is going to change when the Bank of England publishes an average mortgage rate which differs by 0.5% or more from that standard rate. Should you claim income based job seeker's allowance, you have a two year time limit in which you are eligible to claim SMI.

The Directgov website provides information and advice or SMI. You can also go to the Jobcentre Plus website or phone 0800 055 6688 to make a claim.