Over 55s have seen their outstanding mortgage debt grow by 20% over the past year, according to Key Retirement Solutions (KRS).
Research by KRS found that people aged over 70 are facing the biggest problems, with the average debt standing at £45,493.
A survey of over 55s releasing equity from their home through KRS discovered the average mortgage debt amongst clients was £37,316, and KRS says this amounts to around £200bn across the whole of the UK.
One in three over 55s have an outstanding mortgage debt, and Consumer Credit Counselling Service figures show the number of pensioners seeking debt help is equal to the number of under 25s with financial problems.
Dean Mirfin, business development director of KRS, comments: “Whilst this analysis is based on those who have released equity from their home, if this is only partly reflective of pensioners as a whole, then this is of huge concern.
“The rising cost of living is increasingly affecting all of us today, but it is the older generations that are feeling the pinch more than others.”
Mirfin says most single pensioners receive just £6,000 per year, and with an average mortgage payment of £218 per month, will have just £282 to cover all other expenses during the month.
Chris Tapp, director of debt charity Credit Action, says: “At Credit Action, we are concerned that the stresses on household budgets that everyone is facing, whether it be rising food costs or higher utility bills, affect pensioners to a greater degree.
“This, coupled with the fact that people had to borrow more and for longer periods in mortgages as house prices have grown over the last few year, means that many are facing tough times and perhaps tough decisions, in order to keep their finances on track. It is vital that people who are worried take action, and the sooner the better.”
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