1.4m Brits struggling to pay rent or mortgage

Some 1.4 million people in the UK have fallen behind on their rent or mortgage payments.

Research by YouGov for Shelter has found that households c…

Some 1.4 million people in the UK have fallen behind on their rent or mortgage payments.

Research by YouGov for Shelter has found that households cannot afford to keep up with the cost of owning or renting a home. Indeed, the number of people who find themselves in this situation has increased by 44 per cent in the past year, highlighting how the problem is spiralling out of control.

Individuals who do not have enough money to make it to the end of the month should speak to a debt advisor to determine the best way forward. The last thing they should do is bury their head in the sand, as this will only make the situation worse.

Worryingly, nearly one million people have turned to a payday loan in the past year to pay their rent or mortgage, while 2.8 million fell back on an unauthorised overdraft. Of those who used the latter method, ten per cent did so every month.

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 is having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage gets advice now."

He encouraged anyone who cannot afford their rent or mortgage payments to seek advice on the matter to see what their options are. They may be able to negotiate a better mortgage rate with a lender, or put a staggered repayment plan in place with a landlord.

Consumers in debt should always prioritise their arrears and rent or mortgage payments need to be at the top of the list. This is because the consequences associated with failing to pay them are so severe, as individuals could be left homeless.

By Joe White

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