| More than a million householders use credit card borrowing to pay their mortgage or rent
More than a million householders have used credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent in the past 12 months, according to a new survey published by ROOF, Shelter's housing and homelessness magazine.
The survey, conducted by YouGov for ROOF magazine, polled 2,000 households following the Northern Rock crisis.
Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson described the results as shocking.
"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."
Most credit card companies charge interest at well above the highest mortgage interest rates. Typically credit card interest is between 15% and 18%, but it can be as much as 40% for those with a poor credit history. In comparison, average mortgage rates are around 6%, rising to 12% for those considered "sub-prime".
The situation is worst in the Midlands and Wales with almost one in ten households in the region using credit cards to keep a roof over their head. Northern England and London were closer to the national average at 6% whilst in Scotland just 3% of respondents said they borrowed money via credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent.
"This is a huge problem which will only become more widespread as housing costs continue to rise," continued Adam Sampson. "We would urge anyone struggling with the cost of their mortgage or rent to seek independent financial advice.'
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