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One million use credit cards pay mortgage or rent

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by Gill Montia

New research from Shelter suggests that in the past year, up to one million UK households have used credit cards to pay the mortgage or rent.

According to the housing charity, the findings present a disturbing picture of up to a million people taking “desperate measures” to keep the roofs over their heads.

The highest proportion of those afflicted were from working class professions but the YouGov poll also showed that middle/upper class households have been using credit cards in this way.

Shelter warns that many people could find themselves facing homelessness this year because defaulting on credit card payments can trigger repossession, in the worst case scenario.

The charity explains: “Credit card companies have to recover their debts and are not subject to the same rules as mortgage lenders.”

It adds: “Once they obtain a charging order on people’s property, credit card companies can go back to the court for a possession order to force a sale to recover the debt.”

Director of policy and campaigns, Kay Boycott, comments: “It is absolutely vital that every single person using credit cards in this way seeks advice urgently to get the help they need to ensure they don’t lose their home.”

She recommends a visit to one of Shelter’s advice centres, where expert advice is available free of charge.

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News posted: January 11, 2010

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