On this page you'll find information and guidance on how we can help if you’ve had a problem with your mortgage interest rates and think you’ve been treated unfairly.
There are many different types of mortgage product available, including:
- fixed-rate mortgages, where you pay the same interest rate for an agreed number of years, before going back to the lender’s ‘standard variable rate’ (SVR) or – if you choose – remortgaging
- variable rate mortgages, where you pay your mortgage provider’s SVR
- tracker mortgages, which follow – or track – the Bank of England's base rate
- discount mortgages, which charge your lender's SVR minus a fixed percentage
- interest only mortgages, where you only pay the interest each month, but have to pay off the entire loan at the end of the mortgage term
Whatever type of mortgage you have, you’re likely to see your interest rate payments change over its lifetime. And you may be concerned about how you’ll afford your new monthly payment – especially with the rise in the cost of living.
If this is the case, the first and most important thing to do is speak to your mortgage lender.
Your lender may be able to provide you with help and support. It’s usually best to speak to your lender before payments are due. And it’s important to remember that there’s no downside to getting in touch with your lender. Discussing your options won’t have any impact on your credit file, for example.
Most lenders have also signed up to the Mortgage Charter.
If you’re coming to the end of a fixed interest rate period and are worried about rising interest rates, your lender can offer a new rate up to six months before your old one expires. You can change your mind if rates go down. To access this, your lender needs to have signed up to the Mortgage Charter.
Types of complaint we see
People contact us about all sorts of situations. Some examples of what people tell us include:
- There were delays when I tried to arrange a new mortgage or a new interest rate for my current mortgage, which meant the interest rate I got was higher than it should have been
- My lender didn’t tell me my interest rate product was ending in time for me to arrange a new one
- I couldn’t arrange a new interest rate with my lender – for example, because of financial difficulties, or because the joint borrower won’t agree, or because I’m having trouble contacting my lender
- My lender doesn’t offer new interest rate products – I think I may be a ‘mortgage prisoner’
Some lenders don’t offer new mortgages or new interest rate products to existing borrowers. This is called a ‘closed book’. However, if you have a mortgage with one of these lenders you may be a ‘mortgage prisoner’.
For guidance, please see Help for Mortgage Prisoners on the Money Helper website.
These are only some of the things we hear about. If you don’t see your complaint in the list above, you can still get in touch with us to see if we can help.
How to complain
If you’ve had a problem with your mortgage or think you’ve been treated unfairly, you should first complain to your lender or mortgage intermediary. They should look into things and reply within eight weeks.
If you’re not satisfied with their response – or they don’t get back to you within eight weeks – you can bring your complaint to us. We’ll check whether it’s something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate.
Find out more about how to complain.
What we look at
To help us consider a complaint fairly, we’ll ask you to provide some information. We’ll make our decision about what happened using evidence from you, the financial business and any relevant third parties.
When we look at complaints like this, we’ll consider:
- legal and regulatory standards
- relevant industry best practice
- the terms and conditions of your mortgage
We’ll also consider whether the mortgage provider:
- actioned any requests you made within a reasonable period and without avoidable delay
- treated you fairly – either by giving you suitable advice, or by considering fairly any application you made
If your complaint is about a lender, we’ll look at whether they:
- gave you reasonable notice that your monthly payment would be changing, for example, because your interest rate product was ending
- gave fair and reasonable consideration to any requests you made for a new interest rate, if your lender makes them available
- made sure there were no unreasonable barriers to arranging an interest rate product – if your lender makes new rates available – and that its sales channels were accessible
- either provided suitable advice or were very clear that they weren’t giving advice, but still supplied enough clear information so that you could make your own choice
If you’re experiencing – or have recently experienced – financial difficulties, we’ll also want to be sure that your lender carefully considered whether you could afford the interest rate. If not, it’s unlikely to be in your best interests because you’ll incur an early repayment charge if the property needs to be sold.
Putting things right
If we decide you’ve been treated unfairly, or that the business has made a mistake, we’ll ask them to put things right.
Generally, this means they should put you back in the position you would have been in if the problem hadn’t happened. We may also ask the business to compensate you for any distress or inconvenience you’ve experienced as a result of the problem.
The exact details of how we’ll ask the business to put things right will depend on the nature of the complaint, and how you lost out.
Freya wanted to switch mortgage before the end of her fixed-term deal
Keith wanted more notice that his fixed-term mortgage deal was about to end
Meena felt she’d been badly advised about switching to a lower rate
If you’re in financial difficulty and struggling to pay your mortgage, you may find it useful to look at our information on complaints about financial difficulties.
For advice on managing debt and financial difficulties, you may find it useful to look at:
Information for financial businesses
If you’re a financial business, we have information on this topic on its own page in the businesses section.