Mortgage Interest Direct scheme – qualifying lenders
Homeowners who get certain income-related benefits may qualify for help towards their mortgage interest payments. We pay this as part of their benefit. It is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). The income-related benefits affected are:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
We pay this money direct to the lender. This scheme is known as the Mortgage Interest Direct scheme. We introduced this scheme in 1992 following consultation with the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Taking part in the scheme
A qualifying lender1 can choose not to participate in the scheme before 1 February to take effect the following financial year, starting on 1 April. Any existing option will remain in force for the whole of the financial year, but may be changed for the following year. This is called 'opting out'.
Lenders must send details to the address below if they want to:
- join the scheme, or
- amend or delete their existing information.
Customers whose lenders opt out of the scheme will get their housing cost payments included as part of their benefit entitlement. They will be responsible for paying this to their lender.
Contact details (for qualifying lender queries only)
Payment Resolution Service
Blackpool FY5 3TA
Telephone: 0845 600 9591
You can get further details about the legislation and guidance dealing with mortgage interest direct from:
Social Security Administration Act 1992
See Section S15A - Act which prescribes that direct payments of mortgage interest can be made from income related benefits.
Social Security Claims and Payment Regulations 1987
Schedule 9A deals with the mortgage interest direct scheme – go to Regulation 34A and 34B and Schedule 9A
Decision Maker's Guide
Decision Maker's Guide Volume 6, Chapter 33 paragraphs 33346 - 33368 provides general information on the mortgage interest direct scheme.
Directgov provides information on Support for Mortgage Interest.
This is an information page for mortgage lenders who receive direct payments of mortgage interest from customers who are in receipt of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and State Pension Credit.
Information is provided for the contact details for Payment Resolution Service
- A qualifying lender is defined in paragraph 8 of Schedule 9A of Social Security (Claims & Payment) Regulations 1987. The definition includes:
"any body incorporated under the Companies Act 1985 whose main objects include the making of loans secured by a mortgage of or a charge over land or (in Scotland) by a heritable security".