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Millions are warned to stop using credit cards to pay for their homes

Millions of Britons are using high-interest credit cards to help pay for their homes, according to research published last week by the charity Shelter.

A YouGov poll conducted in August asked more than 2,000 people if they had used their credit cards to pay their rent or mortgage in the past six months. Six per cent said they had done so, suggesting a national figure of more than two million.

In 2009, Shelter commissioned research which showed that 3.8 per cent of British adults had paid their mortgage or rent by credit card in the past 12 months.

Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, said the research brought into sharp relief the daily struggle faced by millions of people in keeping roofs over their heads.

"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.

"It is vital that every person using credit cards in this way takes action to get out of debt and seeks urgent advice from organisations like Shelter to ensure they don't lose their homes."

Martin Lewis of MoneySaving Expert.com said: "For all but the seriously financially savvy, using credit cards to pay rent or mortgages is a mistake. After all, you're simply paying off one debt with another and that isn't any type of solution. I would urge people to seek help."