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by administrator @, Friday, January 04, 2013, 10:15

Almost one and a half million people in Britain are falling behind with their rent or mortgage payments, new research from Shelter shows today.

In a YouGov survey of over 4,000 British adults by the housing charity, nearly 4 per cent of rent or mortgage payers say they are falling behind with their payments. This means the equivalent of 1.4 million people starting the New Year in rent or mortgage arrears that could put their home at risk.

The survey also found the number of people constantly struggling to pay their rent or mortgage has increased 44 per cent over the past year (based on Shelter's 2011 survey.)

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."

mortgage arrears

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