Household card payments “terrifying”

The use of credit cards to meet rent or mortgage bills has been described as “frankly terrifying” by the Homeowners Advice Centre.

Co-owner of the centre Chris Jenkins said: “In the long-term this only adds to people’s financial problems as payments build up and credit inevitably runs out leaving the individual in a much worse position.”

Mr Jenkins made his comments in the wake of a report by housing charity Shelter this week, which revealed that a million households resorted to such payments last year.

He added that people need to get to the roots of the “fundamental problems” they have with debt management issues, where their outgoings exceed income.

Figures produced by debt charity Credit Action last week indicated that the total level of UK personal debt at the end of November 2009 was £1,459 million.

It noted that this represented 0.7 per cent growth over the previous 12 months.

Of this, £1,232 million was borrowing secured on dwellings.

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