Posted: Tue 9th May 2023

700,000 households missed rent or mortgage payments in April, Which? finds

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Approximately 700,000 households failed to make a housing payment in the past month, according to new research from consumer champion Which?.

In response, the organisation is calling on essential businesses to offer greater support as the cost of living crisis deepens.

Renters are particularly affected, with one in 20 (5.2%) missing a payment in the past month.

The high rate of missed rent payments has persisted over the past year, highlighting the ongoing struggle to keep a roof over one’s head.

Mortgage holders have also been impacted, with 3.1% of respondents missing payments last month as Bank of England interest rates continue to rise.

Alarmingly, in April alone, two million households either missed or defaulted on at least one mortgage, rent, loan, credit card, or bill.

The 7.3% missed payment rate is consistent with the rate seen at the same time last year, but is higher than in April 2021 (6.5%) and April 2020 (5.2%).

Bills, particularly energy bills (2%) and council tax (1.6%), were the most commonly missed payments among the general population.

To cover essential spending such as utility bills, housing costs, groceries, school supplies and medicines, six in ten (59%) households, equivalent to an estimated 16.6 million households, reported making at least one adjustment in the past month.

These adjustments included cutting back on essentials, dipping into savings, selling possessions or borrowing.

As the Bank of England is predicted to raise interest rates again next Thursday, consumers are expected to face ongoing financial pressure throughout 2023.

Consumers struggling to afford essential payments, such as energy, credit card, or mortgage payments, are advised to seek immediate help from their provider.

Which? has launched a campaign urging essential businesses – including energy firms, broadband providers, and supermarkets – to do more to help consumers struggling to make ends meet and to ensure they are providing value for money.

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, expressed concern, stating, “It’s very worrying that so many households are missing housing payments.”

“We’d encourage anyone who’s struggling to seek free debt advice and reach out to their mortgage provider or landlord for help.”

She added: “As so many people face financial hardship, Which? is calling on businesses in essential sectors like food, energy and telecoms providers to do more to help customers get a good deal and avoid unnecessary or unfair costs and charges during this crisis.”

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