Housing charity Shelter is warning that millions of families may be just one pay packet away from losing their homes. More than a third – 35 per cent – of those questioned in a YouGov survey say that if they lost their jobs they would be unable to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month. And 18 per cent would be unable to pay their rent or mortgage at all unless they got another job straightaway.
Despite record low interest rates there are signs that home repossessions are on the rise. Debt charity StepChange reported that over 34,000 people contacted it in 2012 about problems with their payday loan debts, up 20,000 on 2011. The average debt was £1,657.
Payday loans are typically for hundreds of pounds borrowed for a period of weeks at interest rates that can be over 1,000 per cent if calculated annually. A 29-year-old teacher had payday loan debts of £6,000. Another person’s loan of £350 had grown to £1,100 with interest and charges. ■