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6% Use Credit Cards To Meet Housing Costs

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More than 2 million people have used credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent, an increase of almost 50% in a year, according to the housing and homelessness charity Shelter.

Research for Shelter conducted in August found that 6% of the 2,200 questioned had used credit cards to meet their housing costs in the previous 12 months. This compares to 4% in November 2009, and suggests a national figure of more than 2 million people who are making desperate last attempts to keep a roof over their heads.

With an increased threat of unemployment and rising interest rates, the charity warns that many people will be starting the new year with the threat of homelessness hanging over them once they have exhausted the limited and expensive credit available to them through cards.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "This research brings into sharp focus how keeping a roof over their head has become a daily struggle for millions across the country. This is a totally unsustainable situation and one which we fear could see thousands 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. With the average credit card interest rate now standing at over 16% it is the worst possible course of action. Already someone faces the nightmare of losing their home every two minutes, and we would urge every single one of these people now relying on credit to keep their home to seek advice urgently."

Shelter has a network of advice services across the country which provide free advice on debt and housing issues, as well as a comprehensive advice website at shelter.org.uk/debt.

Kingsley's story

Kingsley is a self-employed electrician and father of four, and has been struggling to meet payments on a second loan secured on his family's home since his business slowed down with the recession. He used his credit card to pay December's instalment.

"I'm under no illusion that I could lose my home. I had a choice of making a late payment or using the credit card to pay the mortgage so I chose the latter.

"Last month I was doing a job, which I can finish within one month and which pays me £3,000. I am thinking that this month I'll have the money to pay the credit card, pay the mortgage of £368 a month and won't have a lot at the end of it. I'm hoping that next week I get a call for someone I priced a job for that will be £20,000 worth of work.

"If that comes off, I'll be OK until April; if it doesn't then I don't want to think about the consequences."

He is now considering declaring bankruptcy and starting again.

Wendy's story

"I had eight credit cards. I'm 51-years-old and am not daft. I never used my cards in the past, never had any financial problems whatsoever and have always had a perfect credit record. I'm a civil servant, have a responsible job and always maintained my outgoings.

"I'm also a single mum and have been for a while – my problems started when my daughter's father reduced his maintenance and I had a series of health conditions that necessitated me reducing my hours at work. I didn't want to but I had to.

"I also went through a very bad divorce which left me with legal bills of £12,000-£15,000, which was a horrendous amount for a single parent.

"My daughter was undergoing psychiatric help because of abuse she had suffered and I wanted to preserve her continuity of life by keeping the same house. So I fought very hard at the time of my divorce to keep the house. It's only a three-bed semi – not a mansion.

"In order to take the house over I had to prove I could pay the mortgage, but I ended up having to get a £43,000 secured loan on top of my mortgage to pay off solicitors fees, money I'd borrowed from my father and to make up the shortfall to pay off the joint mortgage.

"I had to pay £416 each month for my mortgage with RBS and a £627 payment for a secured loan with NatWest. I fought very hard for that loan and don't blame NatWest for giving me the loan: it was before my daughter's father decreased his maintenance and before I reduced my work hours. At the time I could afford it. It was uncomfortable but I was prepared to put up with six or seven years of hardship to maintain the house and the stability in our lives.

"But there was no flexibility and very soon I started to run into problems. I had a growing child, my boiler went wrong which cost £1,500. It got to the stage where the car insurance was due again and other bills accrued.

"So in the past seven or eight months I started to rely on drawing cash from my credit cards and paying it into my bank account, or phoning up and paying the mortgage by card over the phone. I was also paying for clothes for my daughter on credit card.

"You get in the habit of going to the card and thinking 'when things get better I'll be able to pay it off'. But it's the increase in the monthly payments. I was paying £300 a month towards all my credit cards. I haven't been on holiday, bought lavish clothes or a car.

"My secured loan, mortgage and credit cards come to £1,350 a month and I earn £2,000 a month with everything. It's unsustainable. I have a 12-year-old daughter, a house to run, food to buy. I don't have any money left over at the end of the month.

"Two years ago my credit card balances were zero. I managed to pay them off by partially retiring at work but now I owe £14,000 again. Until November all of my mortgage payments were also up to date.

"I can't do overtime because of medical problems, and my pay has been frozen because of the civil service pay freeze. My daughter's father lost his job so has stopped paying the £300 maintenance.

"I contacted the credit card companies in October but the majority have never replied. I made an offer to pay 40% of my regular monthly payments for a year to allow me to get back on my feet, and I'm making those payments without their agreement. The stress of it all makes me feel ill. I do worry about it and it's not something I take lightly. I don't want anything that wipes the debt. It's my debt and I want to honour it. It's just that my circumstances at the moment mean I can't.

"I would never ever again have a credit card even if I was offered one. It eases your immediate problems but creates greater problems in long run."

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This subject was discussed on here a couple of days ago but 'Wendy's story' - Pure gold! :lol:

"I had eight credit cards. I'm 51-years-old and am not daft.......blah blah etc"

:lol:

Basically nothing happened to her other than 'life'. Divorce, illness etc. It happens everyday to all kinds of people. Sounds like she just went on a spending binge and has effectivly bankrupted herself.

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This subject was discussed on here a couple of days ago but 'Wendy's story' - Pure gold! :lol:

"I had eight credit cards. I'm 51-years-old and am not daft.......blah blah etc"

:lol:

Basically nothing happened to her other than 'life'. Divorce, illness etc. It happens everyday to all kinds of people. Sounds like she just went on a spending binge and has effectivly bankrupted herself.

Think that put these things out as some sort of attempt to convince us that it's not these poor people's fault. I mean who'd've thought it - you get a divorce and you need to downsize, could've fooled me.

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Wendy is all that is wrong with the UK.

I hate Wendy.

Agreed

"I'm a civil servant, have a responsible job and always maintained my outgoings."

translates to

I am a civil servant and have a right to a certain standard of living irrespective of what is going on in the real world.

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Agreed

"I'm a civil servant, have a responsible job and always maintained my outgoings."

translates to

I am a civil servant and have a right to a certain standard of living irrespective of what is going on in the real world.

The odds are she is doing a job that doesn't even need to be done anyway, just duplicating what three or four other people are doing.

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When my parents got divorced my mum sold up and moved into a council house. It wasn't very nice but it was what we could afford.

Were you receiving treatment for abuse you had suffered? This lady is trying to keep the house to maintain her daughter's fragile mental state, she is trying to pay back her debts and is reasonable.

Kingsley, on the other hand, has 4 kids he cannot afford and apparently says if he gets a £20k job, it'll only last him til April, and this month's job which brings in £3k won't leave him much left over, all despite only having £368 to pay a month mortgage.

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Bit harsh. Personally I think Kingsley is the twonk here. What would you have done in Wendy's situation?

Rather than cling to a pile of bricks that she couldn't afford she could have sold up and either bought something she could afford or (dare I suggest it ) rented.

She has provided short term continuity of living space for her daughter at the expense of financial distress, additional stress and eventual displacement.

Living within her means would have provided genuine stability.

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Bit harsh. Personally I think Kingsley is the twonk here. What would you have done in Wendy's situation?

"I had eight credit cards. I'm 51-years-old and am not daft. I never used my cards in the past, never had any financial problems whatsoever and have always had a perfect credit record. I'm a civil servant, have a responsible job and always maintained my outgoings.

"I'm also a single mum and have been for a while – my problems started when my daughter's father reduced his maintenance and I had a series of health conditions that necessitated me reducing my hours at work. I didn't want to but I had to.

She had 8 credit cards, but never used them? Please!! Why did she have eight of them?

Civil servant, with a "responsible job" - Lesbian Diversity co-ordinator, then? (OK, that's a little harsh).

"I also went through a very bad divorce which left me with legal bills of £12,000-£15,000, which was a horrendous amount for a single parent.

Which was it? £12k or £15k? Or was it more? whichever, HOW MUCH??? totally discretionary spending. The rhetoric is telling too - If you're in a divorce, of course you're a "single parent". Duh!

"My daughter was undergoing psychiatric help because of abuse she had suffered and I wanted to preserve her continuity of life by keeping the same house. So I fought very hard at the time of my divorce to keep the house. It's only a three-bed semi – not a mansion.

Again, this may be true, but my predjudices creep in and I read from this:

- Her divorce was at the housing peak or before, and she really wanted to keep the house because house prices only go up.

- I would have thought that a clean break from where her daughter had been abused would have been better

- Assuming it was her husband who had abused (I know), then why such a messy, costly divorce?

"In order to take the house over I had to prove I could pay the mortgage, but I ended up having to get a £43,000 secured loan on top of my mortgage to pay off solicitors fees, money I'd borrowed from my father and to make up the shortfall to pay off the joint mortgage.

More costs of £43k!!!! For Solicitors fees???

"I had to pay £416 each month for my mortgage with RBS and a £627 payment for a secured loan with NatWest. I fought very hard for that loan and don't blame NatWest for giving me the loan: it was before my daughter's father decreased his maintenance and before I reduced my work hours. At the time I could afford it. It was uncomfortable but I was prepared to put up with six or seven years of hardship to maintain the house and the stability in our lives.

"But there was no flexibility and very soon I started to run into problems. I had a growing child, my boiler went wrong which cost £1,500. It got to the stage where the car insurance was due again and other bills accrued.

This wasn't just "putting up with hardship". It was her concious decision to get into that scenario, her own financial acumen let her go to living on the edge - did she not plan for any additional (inevitable) costs - like boiler costs?

"So in the past seven or eight months I started to rely on drawing cash from my credit cards and paying it into my bank account, or phoning up and paying the mortgage by card over the phone. I was also paying for clothes for my daughter on credit card.

"You get in the habit of going to the card and thinking 'when things get better I'll be able to pay it off'. But it's the increase in the monthly payments. I was paying £300 a month towards all my credit cards. I haven't been on holiday, bought lavish clothes or a car.

"My secured loan, mortgage and credit cards come to £1,350 a month and I earn £2,000 a month with everything. It's unsustainable. I have a 12-year-old daughter, a house to run, food to buy. I don't have any money left over at the end of the month.

so, even before her mortgage costs, her house was moere than 50% of her expenditure? Only her and her daughter, they could easily have downsized, and had money to spare. I wonder what sort of mortgage she had?

"Two years ago my credit card balances were zero. I managed to pay them off by partially retiring at work but now I owe £14,000 again. Until November all of my mortgage payments were also up to date.

"I can't do overtime because of medical problems, and my pay has been frozen because of the civil service pay freeze. My daughter's father lost his job so has stopped paying the £300 maintenance.

Again, my predjudices tell me:

- What exactly are her "medical problems"?? I'm guessing stress.

- She can't do overtime because of her condition - but she still works, part time, and has "partially retired"??? Just seems a little odd to me.

"I contacted the credit card companies in October but the majority have never replied. I made an offer to pay 40% of my regular monthly payments for a year to allow me to get back on my feet, and I'm making those payments without their agreement. The stress of it all makes me feel ill. I do worry about it and it's not something I take lightly. I don't want anything that wipes the debt. It's my debt and I want to honour it. It's just that my circumstances at the moment mean I can't.

"I would never ever again have a credit card even if I was offered one. It eases your immediate problems but creates greater problems in long run."

Why not sell your house, Wendy? You have the means to pay it all off, and start over.

I hate her.

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She has provided short term continuity of living space for her daughter at the expense of financial distress, additional stress and eventual displacement.

That wasn't inevitable at the time of the decision. Secondly, most parents will go to the cross for their children and she placed this enormous stress on herself in order to try to help her child. Maybe it was the wrong decision financially, but when it comes to people's children they don't always act rationally.

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Were you receiving treatment for abuse you had suffered? This lady is trying to keep the house to maintain her daughter's fragile mental state, she is trying to pay back her debts and is reasonable.

Kingsley, on the other hand, has 4 kids he cannot afford and apparently says if he gets a £20k job, it'll only last him til April, and this month's job which brings in £3k won't leave him much left over, all despite only having £368 to pay a month mortgage.

If I'm honest it was the parents that ******ed me up not the house move.

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She had 8 credit cards, but never used them? Please!! Why did she have eight of them?

Civil servant, with a "responsible job" - Lesbian Diversity co-ordinator, then? (OK, that's a little harsh).

Yeah, it is. My parents have god knows how many credit cards - they don't use all of them and they aren't in debt. Some are probably store cards.

Which was it? £12k or £15k? Or was it more? whichever, HOW MUCH??? totally discretionary spending. The rhetoric is telling too - If you're in a divorce, of course you're a "single parent". Duh!

I think her point is it is difficult to cover now she is reduced to the one salary.

Again, this may be true, but my predjudices creep in and I read from this:

- Her divorce was at the housing peak or before, and she really wanted to keep the house because house prices only go up.

- I would have thought that a clean break from where her daughter had been abused would have been better

- Assuming it was her husband who had abused (I know), then why such a messy, costly divorce?

You are just assuming, you don't know

More costs of £43k!!!! For Solicitors fees???

Not just solicitors' fees. Read it again.

This wasn't just "putting up with hardship". It was her concious decision to get into that scenario, her own financial acumen let her go to living on the edge - did she not plan for any additional (inevitable) costs - like boiler costs?

No, because she foolishly assumed that (i) her husband would keep paying maintenance and (ii) she would not have to reduce her working hours due to illness.

so, even before her mortgage costs, her house was moere than 50% of her expenditure? Only her and her daughter, they could easily have downsized, and had money to spare. I wonder what sort of mortgage she had?

Again, my predjudices tell me:

- What exactly are her "medical problems"?? I'm guessing stress.

Again, you are just being prejudiced.

- She can't do overtime because of her condition - but she still works, part time, and has "partially retired"??? Just seems a little odd to me.

She partially retired to get some money out of her pension to pay off some of the debt. Obviously being ill, she needs to reduce her working hours. Hence she cannot do overtime to get more money and pay down the debt.

Why not sell your house, Wendy? You have the means to pay it all off, and start over.

Because of her daughter.

I hate her.

Because you are prejudiced and judgemental

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She partially retired to get some money out of her pension to pay off some of the debt. Obviously being ill, she needs to reduce her working hours. Hence she cannot do overtime to get more money and pay down the debt.

She probably went part-time to get Tax Credits.

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Yeah, it is. My parents have god knows how many credit cards - they don't use all of them and they aren't in debt. Some are probably store cards.

I think her point is it is difficult to cover now she is reduced to the one salary.

You are just assuming, you don't know

Not just solicitors' fees. Read it again.

No, because she foolishly assumed that (i) her husband would keep paying maintenance and (ii) she would not have to reduce her working hours due to illness.

Again, you are just being prejudiced.

She partially retired to get some money out of her pension to pay off some of the debt. Obviously being ill, she needs to reduce her working hours. Hence she cannot do overtime to get more money and pay down the debt.

Because of her daughter.

Because you are prejudiced and judgemental

Maybe, but the story doesn't give the information to show me otherwise.

If she was a nurse, the story would have said so. If her job was ANYTHING remotely useful, it would have told us her job, rather than a "civil servant".

Similarly with her illness - if it was anything sympathetic, the story would have gone into detail.

To me, the story stinks. She made majorly fundamentally wrong decisions, i suspect "because she / her daughter was worth it".

Spectacularly wrong, and her use of credit cards is a symptom, not the cause of her misery.

In reality, it was down to her own greed.

To blame her plight on her divorce, her child, her "health", or her husband it totally disingenuous.

She spectacularly ******ed up, and only has herself to blame.

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In reality, it was down to her own greed.

To blame her plight on her divorce, her child, her "health", or her husband it totally disingenuous.

She spectacularly ******ed up, and only has herself to blame.

You believe that someone trying to remain in a 3 bed semi following a divorce, which she could afford assuming (i) father's maintenance and (ii) not going part-time, due to a desire to help her child's mental health issues is a symptom of greed.

We shall have to agree to disagree.

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You believe that someone trying to remain in a 3 bed semi following a divorce, which she could afford assuming (i) father's maintenance and (ii) not going part-time, due to a desire to help her child's mental health issues is a symptom of greed.

We shall have to agree to disagree.

OK so the dad stops paying do you:

A: Look for a new home so you and your daughter aren't put through the wringer trying to stay in a house you can't afford. or...

B: Stick around and wait for the inevitable?

Moving house isn't actually the end of the world whether or not you're the victim of (undefined) abuse.

Edited by EvilEdna

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Why not sell your house, Wendy? You have the means to pay it all off, and start over.

Because of her daughter.

Surely it would be in her daughter's best interests if she was to sell the house she can't afford and move to one she can afford?

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Harsh there.

Apparently she wanted stability for her daughter regarding problems from father's abuse. Not defending Wendy, but attempting to be a little bit more balanced. :)

Yes -- but DID HE ABUSE??? Is this just a really nasty slur? Or is it the "truth"? Whatever the case --- THAT REFERENCE TO ABUSE SHOULD NOT BE THERE AT ALL. It is slander.

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You believe that someone trying to remain in a 3 bed semi following a divorce, which she could afford assuming (i) father's maintenance and (ii) not going part-time, due to a desire to help her child's mental health issues is a symptom of greed.

We shall have to agree to disagree.

Of course not. It is only natural to want the best for a child.

I am suggesting that what she did in hindsight (even with foresight) was spectacularly the wrong thing to do for her and her child. Her judgement was drived by greed.

As said, the worst bit is her lack of acknowledgement that the issue here is not her credit cards, but the choices she made prior to that.

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Were you receiving treatment for abuse you had suffered? This lady is trying to keep the house to maintain her daughter's fragile mental state, she is trying to pay back her debts and is reasonable.

What a load of crap. She didn't want to move to a smaller house, used her daughter's unfortunate circumstances as an excuse not to and as a result put her family unit into financial jeopardy when 'unexpected' problems hit later on.

When you're an adult you are supposed to sit down and do a bit of financial planning - including factoring in likely losses of income.

Her stupid actions in failing to act like a responsible adult likely did more 'harm' to her daughter than downsizing the house would ever have.

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Yes -- but DID HE ABUSE??? Is this just a really nasty slur? Or is it the "truth"? Whatever the case --- THAT REFERENCE TO ABUSE SHOULD NOT BE THERE AT ALL. It is slander.

Given the ladies dishonesty about the situation involving money, I have my doubts about her version of the truth.

What we know is that the husband was booted out of the house, and probably branded an abuser in court. And yet the mother lives in a fantasy land where she lives in a house she cannot afford and has spent a load on legal bills that she cannot afford, presumably to hurt her ex-husband as much as possible. We also have her blaming her husband for her reduction in income, not a thought regarding the situation her ex is in, no job, lost a home, and presumably no access to the daughter.

And when you have someone on the loose with no compassion for anyone other than themselves, any child or children is going to have pyschological problems.

As for who caused the problems, I can see a lot of reason to believe it wasnt the husband.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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