Families turn to payday loans to cover mortgage repayments

5th January 2012

The housing charity, Shelter, has warned more and more people are relying on payday loans and other short term credit to cover their monthly rent or mortgage payments.

It says they risk being caught up in a spiral of debt and putting their homes are risk from repossesion.

Higher bills, lower wages and unemployment are driving people into the arms of payday lenders and other providers of credit, often at interest rates that reach into the stratosphere and Shelter is concerned that a growing number are doing it as a last-ditch measure to keep up payments on the rent or the mortgage.

Roger Harding, Head of Policy, Shelter: "It's completely unsustainable in the long term for people who are funding their housing costs. Quickly they find that the payments increase, the interest rates are very high and they need to get into more debt to meet those old payments."

Shelter asked 4,000 adults about paying the rent or mortgage and found that 1 in 7 who responded was using short-term credit including overdrafts and cards to tide them over. Only 66 in the sample relied on payday loans, but at 1 in 50 already, Shelter says that's a worrying development.

The temptation to resort to high cost loans to cover the rent or the mortgage is a result of the fear of getting a bad name with the landlord or mortgage lender, but that can backfire; too much debt can lead to eviction or having the house repossessed.