Thousands turning to payday lenders to hide rent or mortgage problems
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance
Record numbers declared insolvent during 2009
Thousands of Brits are turning to payday lenders to hide problems they are having paying their rent or mortgage, new research has revealed.
Housing charity Shelter's study found that nearly one in five rent or mortgage payers have borrowed money to cover their housing costs.
And 2% of Brits – the equivalent of nearly a million people – said they had taken out a payday loan to help pay the rent or mortgage.
Shelter says that the number of people who have contacted it in the past year who can’t pay their rent or mortgage has risen by almost a third. And the charity’s advisers are warning that for every person seeking help, many will be keeping their problems hidden.
The survey found that as many as one in four would feel too ashamed to ask for help if they couldn’t cover our housing costs – and even more wouldn’t admit their problems to family or friends.
Liz Clare, a helpline adviser for Shelter, said: "These days, we could all find ourselves at risk of losing our home. Falling behind with the rent or mortgage can happen to any of us and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone at the school gates, in the supermarket or at work could be silently struggling.
"Times are tough, and we often hear from people who’ve reached crisis point because they haven’t felt able to ask for help earlier. Making the first step to ask for help is difficult, but advice from an expert early on can make the difference between losing your home and keeping it."
Shelter is urging people to get advice early through its website, helpline or face-to-face services for the best chance of keeping their home. Advice can range from negotiating ‘mortgage holidays’ with lenders to helping with realistic repayment plans for rent arrears.
Campbell Robb, Shelter chief executive, said: "Sky-high housing costs, stagnating wages and the high cost of living have taken their toll. The economy as a whole might be on the up, but losing our home could now be a frighteningly real prospect for any one of us.
"Our message today is don’t keep your worries to yourself: Shelter’s expert advisers can be the difference between keeping your home and losing it."