The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules the UK Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme, which will allow households that are unable to meet their monthly mortgage payments to defer the principal and up to 70% of their mortgage interest payments for up to two years. The scheme was originally introduced in December 2008, and was intended to become effective in January 2009.

Under the scheme, the UK government will guarantee up to 80% of the total interest deferred for a period of up to two years, but will only pay out on the guarantee in cases where, once the principal has been repaid, the proceeds of repossession would not be sufficient to cover the guaranteed deferred interest. There is a two year window for eligible borrowers to elect to participate in the scheme.