Charity survey reveals dependency on payday loans

By agency reporter
5 Jan 2012

Almost one million people have taken out a payday loan to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months, a new survey from the housing and homelessness charity Shelter has revealed.

The survey shows that almost seven million people in total are relying on some form of credit to help in paying their housing costs, using payday loans, unauthorised overdrafts, other loans or credit cards.

The YouGov survey carried out last month asked 4,014 people in Great Britain if they had used payday loans, unauthorised overdraft, other loan or credit cards to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months. One in seven respondents (15 per cent) who took part said they had done so, representing a national figure of almost seven million people, with almost one million using payday loans.

The results reveal the spiral of debt that people are falling into in order to keep a roof over their head.

The charity warns that the New Year could bring a risk of homelessness, for those who are struggling with their housing costs and is urging anyone worried about their debts to seek early debt advice.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “These shocking findings show the extent to which millions of households across the country are desperately struggling to keep their home.

“Turning to short-term payday loans to help pay for the cost of housing is totally unsustainable. It can quickly lead to debts snowballing out of control and can lead to eviction or repossession and ultimately homelessness.

“Every two minutes someone in Britain faces the nightmare of losing their home. We urge every single one of these people now relying on credit to help pay their rent or mortgage to urgently seek advice.”

[Ekk/4]

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