A roof over your head

January 17, 2012, 3:52 PM GMT+0

1 in 7 Britons has used credit, including payday loans, to help pay for housing, Shelter poll finds

Almost one million British people have taken out a payday loan to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months, our survey for housing charity Shelter shows.

The survey also reveals that almost seven million Britons in total are relying on credit in some form to help pay their housing costs, using payday loans, unauthorised overdrafts, other loans or credit cards.

Our online poll asked 4,014 British adults 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%) who took part said yes, representing a national figure of almost seven million people*
  • 2% said that they had taken out one or more payday loans to help pay their rent or mortgage, meaning that almost one million people (around 936, 000)* have used this method to keep a roof over their heads

The homelessness and housing charity has suggested that the poll reveals the spiral of debt that many people are falling into to pay for something as fundamental as their home, and urged anyone worried about their debts to seek debt advice as early as possible.

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.'

* The estimate of the number of GB adults using a payday loan (936,000) or form of credit including payday loans, unauthorised overdrafts, other loans or credit cards (7 million) to meet housing costs is based on the latest estimates from the Office of National Statistics which indicate that there are 47.8 million adults in Great Britain.

See the survey details and full results here