1.4 million Britons falling behind with the rent or mortgage

4 January 2013

A couple looking worried

1.4 million people in Britain are falling behind with their rent or mortgage payments, according to a new YouGov survey for Shelter.

The number of people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage each month has increased by 44% over the past year, to 7.8 million people.

The research also reveals that over the past year:

  • almost a million people used a payday loan to help pay their rent or mortgage
  • 2.8 million people used an unauthorised overdraft to help pay their rent or mortgage, and of those 10% did so every month.

With austerity measures set to affect even more families this year, Shelter is urging anyone struggling with their housing costs to visit their free, online advice pages, to avoid putting their home at risk.

Shelter is also warning of the dangers of turning to short-term, high interest credit as a way to help meet housing costs.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said: ‘It’s shocking to think that so many families will be starting the New Year with a huge weight hanging over them, trapped in a daily struggle to keep their home. 

‘Payday loans may seem like a quick fix, but the huge interest charges mean things can quickly spiral out of control. It’s vital that anyone who’s having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage gets advice now.

‘Don’t wait until things reach breaking point later in the year – it could leave your family’s home at risk.’

Worried about your rent or mortgage? Get advice from Shelter >

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