Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Credit cards being used to pay mortgages

Surge in people paying mortgages by credit card

Detached house

Failing to pay your mortgage could cost you your house

Increasing numbers of people are paying their rent or mortgage with money borrowed on a credit card, research has indicated.

Housing charity Shelter found that around six percent of consumers – the equivalent of nearly 2.6 million people – said they had been forced to use plastic to keep up home repayments during the past 12 months. 

The survey of 2,234 people in Britain asked if they had borrowed money on their credit card to pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months. Six percent of respondents said yes compared to four percent in November 2009.

The charity commented that withdrawing cash on a credit card to pay housing costs was the worst possible course of action for householders. It warned that the situation could lead to thousands of families being pushed into a spiral of debt, eviction or repossession, and ultimately homelessness.

People urged to seek debt advice

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘This research brings into sharp focus how keeping a roof over their head has become a daily struggle for millions across the country.

‘Already someone faces the nightmare of losing their home every two minutes, and we would urge every single one of these people now relying on credit to keep their home to seek advice urgently.’

Shelter has also produced a short film starring actress Jaime Winstone which it hopes will raise awareness of the dangers of using credit cards to cover rent and encourage people facing difficulties to seek help. To view the film visit www.shelter.org.uk.

Which? debt advice

If you feel you might need help with tackling problem debts, read the Which? How to deal with debt advice guide and take a look at our 8 ways to get out of debt in 2011.

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what’s going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.

Back to top