Hatfield charity warns: ‘Don’t pay mortgage on credit card’
A HOUSING charity has warned homeowners they risk homelessness by paying their mortgages on credit cards.
Hatfield-based Shelter issued the caution after a survey by YouGov revealed that last year around 170,000 people in the East of England borrowed money to keep a roof over their heads.
The survey, conducted in August 2010, of 2,234 people in Great Britain asked if respondents had borrowed money on their credit card to pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months.
The results, published this month, suggested a regional figure of 167,000 people had used their credit cards in this way, and a total over two million across the UK, an increase of almost 50 per cent in a year.
Martin Earl, Shelter Hertfordshire Advice Manager, said: “This research brings into sharp focus how keeping a roof over their head has become a daily struggle for thousands across the East of England.
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“This is a totally unsustainable situation and one which we fear could see many more families pushed into the spiral of debt, eviction or repossession and ultimately homelessness.
“Using credit cards to pay the rent or mortgage is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
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“With the average credit card interest rate now standing at over 16 per cent it is the worst possible course of action.
“We would urge every single one of these people now relying on credit to keep their home to seek advice urgently.”
Shelter provides free debt advice as well as help with housing issues. The service in Queensway House also deals with New Year bills, by providing advice directly or guiding residents to the support they need.
Call 0344 515 1944 or click on the link above for more advice.