If you are one of more than six million people who plan to pay off their mortgage with an endowment policy then you may already know about the problems you could face in the future if you do no revise your payments now. In April you can expect to hear from your lender again with an update on the situation. So what is the problem? Improvements in the economy are usually a good thing for investors but the current combination of lower inflation and interest rates, means that your endowment policy may not perform as well as you expected and you may need to put aside more each month to be confident of paying off your mortgage. For most people, there is still time to make provision. Insurers and mortgage lenders must write to customers with endowments mortgages every two years to let them know whether their investment is on track to pay off their loan at the end of the term. Look out for the letters The first batch of these letters - enclosing a factsheet from the regulator, the Financial Services Authority: "Your endowment mortgage - what you need to know" was sent out in January 2000. It was followed that April by individual 're-projection' letters, setting out the expectations for each specific policy, the amount - in pounds - of any shortfall and what you would need to do to make up the shortfall. The two-year update is due to land on your doormat from this month. If you have not received a letter and are concerned, contact your insurer. The address and telephone number will be on any letters or papers they have sent you in the past. Don't panic... The fact that your endowment mortgage may now have a shortfall does not mean that you were badly advised; nor that you have lost out by having an endowment. But if you would like to make a complaint about the advice you received, the FSA's factsheet, "Endowment Mortgage Complaints" explains how endowment holders should take up any complaints with the firm which sold them the endowment, and how to take their case to the Ombudsman if you are not happy with the response from your lender. It also includes information about how consumers can seek compensation if they feel they were in any way misled at the point of sale and may have lost out financially as a result. The factsheet also covers mortgage endowments that extend past the customer's expected retirement date, an area of particular concern raised during the FSA's research in the past year. FSA Chairman Howard Davies says: "We know that many consumers think they were not given proper advice when they took out their endowments: in particular, that they were not made fully aware of the risks involved in an endowment investment product. That is why we are publishing a new factsheet, which explains how people in that position can take their case forward, and how those with valid complaints might seek compensation". Remember: Do not cash in your endowments without taking advice. Do not just stop paying the premiums. If you do, you could lose money. There are a number of things you can do, so don't panic. Follow these steps recommended by the FSA: Step one - find all the paperwork Check how long both the loan and the endowment policy have left to run. If you need to repay the mortgage before the endowment pays out and you are expecting to use the endowment to pay off the loan, you may have a problem. You need to speak to the firm or adviser who sold you the policy and ask them why the end dates are different. You can ask your mortgage company to extend the term (the length of time the loan runs for). But make sure that, if this takes you beyond retirement age, you can afford to keep up the payments. Step two - contact your endowment company Ask them to work out whether your policy is still on target to repay your mortgage. You may be told you have to wait if there is a heavy demand for re-projections all at once. People whose policies are near their pay-out date (called 'maturity') will get priority as they have less time to deal with any shortfall before they have to repay their loan. Step three - make provision If it seems that the lump sum you will get from the endowment might fall short of the amount you need when your mortgage term ends, look at ways of topping up your savings. Find out more Endowment factsheets and guides are available free from the FSA: 0800 917 3311.