What happens to my mortgage if I lose my job?
One in three UK adults has experienced a shock to their finances through bereavement, redundancy, or an illness that has stopped them from working.
The Money Advice Service suggests the benefits of protection insurance.
It’s probably there at the back of your mind, niggling away, the worry of how you’d pay your mortgage or rent if you suddenly lost your income. But as a nation we tend to think it won’t happen to us, that we don’t need to plan.
Well, new research by the Money Advice Service has found there’s a good chance you could be affected by a situation that takes away your ability to pay. In the last five years, we found one in three UK adults has experienced a shock to their finances through redundancy; an illness or an injury that has stopped them from working, or a bereavement.
Few had savings or insurance to help soften the impact of that event, leaving many open to the possibility of losing their home.
So what can you do to make sure you can keep a roof over your head when times get tough?
Set up a rainy day fund
In the first instance, you can build up a rainy day fund. Having enough to cover your home payments for at least three months gives you a bit of room if you were to suddenly lose your job.
If you’re struggling to put money aside for savings, it’s worth seeing where you are able to cut back. The Money Advice Service budget planner is a great way to help you work out how you spend your money each month and find ways to spend less.
However, if you were unable to work for a long period, there’s a good chance your savings would disappear very quickly.
Would protection insurance help?
If you have family members or others who depend on your income, you might want to consider some form of protection insurance.
There are a number of insurance products which could protect your mortgage repayments. With all of these, you might already be covered by your employer, so check to see what you have in place.
Life insurance could provide a lump sum if you died unexpectedly, which could be used to pay off your mortgage. The cheapest and simplest option is something called a “decreasing term” life insurance policy. This is where the amount you are covered for reduces as you pay off your mortgage balance.
Critical illness cover could also provide a one-off payment if you contract a specified illness, though you might rather use that money to pay for your health care.
If you’re worried about losing your job or being unable to work due to illness or injury, income protection and short-term income protection could provide an income to cover your mortgage payments. You would get a regular monthly payment rather than a lump sum.
A more expensive income protection option relative to the benefit you receive is Mortgage Payment Protection, where your home repayments would be covered in full for a set period.
For more information on all of these, and details on how they work, read the full guide on the Money Advice Service website.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.
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