THE number of Yorkshire people using credit cards to pay the mortgage or rent has risen by almost 50% in a year, a survey has revealed.
The poll by YouGov for homeless charity Shelter suggests that more than 287,000 people across the region are taking the “drastic measures” as they struggle to manage their household bills.
The survey conducted during the summer asked people across the UK if they had borrowed money on their credit card to pay their rent or mortgage in the previous 12 months.
Some 7% in Yorkshire said they had – compared to just 4% who were asked the same question in November, 2009.
The survey also revealed that more than 2m people are using credit cards in this way across the UK – an increase of almost 50% in a year. The charity warned that many of these people could be starting 2011 with the threat of homelessness hanging over them.
Defaulting on credit card payments could lead to homes being repossessed in very severe cases – while a single incident, such as a bout of illness, a rent increase or a fall in income, could push people into a spiral or debt and arrears that could lead to the loss of their home.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “This research brings into sharp focus how keeping a roof over their head has become a daily struggle for thousands across Yorkshire.
“This is a totally unsustainable situation and one which we fear could see many more families pushed into the spiral of debt, eviction or repossession and ultimately homelessness. Using credit cards to pay the rent or mortgage is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.”