Up to one million households in the UK could be using credit cards to meet their monthly rent and mortgage payments, according to homelessness charity, Shelter.
A YouGov poll, commissioned by Shelter, found 6% of households had relied on a credit card to pay for their housing costs since the beginning of the credit crunch and Shelter is urging people to seek independent advice.
Commenting on the findings, Adam Sampson, chief executive of Shelter, says: “For many people trying to keep a roof over their head, desperation is driving them to short-term, high-cost borrowing. Ordinary people are being forced to seek more risky and expensive ways to stave off the threat of eviction and repossession.”
Shelter says credit card interest rates are well above even the highest mortgage interest rates and says people should look at other ways of paying for their housing.
The research claims the problem is most widespread in the Midlands and Wales, with around 9% using credit cards. Northern England and London stood around the national average of 6%. Scotland had the lowest number of householders using credit cards at just 3%.
Sampson adds: “Clearly this is a huge problem which will only become more widespread as housing costs continue to rise. We would urge anyone struggling with the cost of their mortgage or rent to seek independent financial advice.”
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