Questionnaire: Do You Qualify for Government Help?
There are a number of government schemes available to not only first-time buyers but existing homeowners as well. But trying to decipher your way through the mine-field of schemes out there can be tricky.
The three main schemes for those seeking affordable homes are Homebuy Direct, the Key Worker Living Programme and Open Market Homebuy.There are also schemes for those who already have a mortgage but are struggling to keep up with repayments, such as the Mortgage Rescue Scheme and the Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme.
We've put together this questionnaire to help you establish which schemes you are eligible for. If you think you are eligible for any of the schemes you should contact a local debt advice charity such as Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Simply answer A, B or C below then check your answers to see if you are eligible.
1, Homebuy Direct
A) I am a first-time buyer earning less than £60,000 and cannot afford to get on the housing ladder
B) I am not a first-time buyer and coming out of a divorce
C) I already have a property and earn over £60,000
2, Key Worker Living Programme
A) I am classed as a key worker and live in the South of England
B) I'm a key worker living in the Midlands
C) I live in the North of England and work as a doctor
3, Open Market HomeBuy
A) I am a key worker and a first-time buyer who earns less than £60,000 a year
B) I am a key worker but have a second home
C) I am not a key worker and earn more than £60,000 a year
4, Mortgage Rescue Scheme
A) Your household contains someone in priority need and you earn less than £60,000
B) I have lost quite a lot of equity in my property but cannot meet my mortgage payments
C) I have a second home and I am in a lot of debt
5, Homeowners Mortgage Support
A) I bought my home before December 1, 2008 and have an outstanding mortgage of less than £400,000 and savings of less than £16,000
B) I only work part-time but am confident I can repay at least 30% of my interest payments
C) I don't have any income and bought my house in the last few months.
Are You Ready to Apply?If You Answered A to most of the above questions you sound like you are a prime candidate for one of the schemes. Where you live can determine whether you can apply for some of the schemes and key workers in the South of England have an increased chance of finding a programme in their area.If you have someone living in your property such as a mentally ill person or a pregnant woman this will help, especially if the household earns less than £60,000.
For existing homeowners if you bought before December 1, 2008 and have an outstanding mortgage of less than £400,000 and savings of less than £16,000 you should also be able to receive help towards your current mortgage payments.
If you answered B to the majority of the questions it sounds like you could be eligible for a lot of the schemes but your situation does not sound straightforward so you may need to speak to a local debt adviser to check you qualify.It could also be that because you do not live in the South of England you are not eligible for some of first-time buyer schemes, but this will depend on your individual location.
If you own a second home this two could prevent you from qualifying for some of the first-time buyer schemes.You could also apply for some help towards your current mortgage payments; as long as you can afford 30% of the interest payments you should be ok.
If you answered C to the majority of the questions it sounds like you will not be eligible for any of the schemes, this could be because you earn over £60,000 or because you live in the North of England. If you are a doctor you will not be classed as a key worker, as local authorities rule out employees at the higher end of the scale.
It also sounds like there is not a lot of help available to you to help pay your current mortgage, so you should speak to your mortgage lender ASAP.