More than 6% are using credit to pay rent and mortgage

North/south rent divide also widening

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The Independent Online

More than one in 20 people paid their rent or mortgage using some form of credit in February, claims a new report.

New research from the Debt Advisory Centre suggests that 6.5% of UK adults borrowed to pay their landlord or mortgage provider, a figure that has doubled since August 2013. The figures shows that men were nearly twice as likely as women to use credit in this way.

More than one in 10 people in the survey aged between 18 and 34 said they had relied on credit to pay the bill for their property during February.

Just over 11 per cent of people in London covered their mortgage or rent this way, compared to just 2.6 per cent of those living in the South West and twice the figure for Scotland.

Spokesman for Debt Advisory Centre Ian Williams said: "There is nothing more important than the roof over your head, so to learn that so many people feel they have to rely on credit to pay their mortgage or rent, and that this figure has risen, is extremely troubling."

A separate report from HomeLet also indicates that the North/South rent divide is widening, with rents in London almost three times those in the North East. The figures put the average cost of renting in Greater London at £1,316 per month, 7.3 per cent more expensive than the same time last year.

"We’re seeing an increase in the number of people who are opting to rent as their preferred choice of living," said Martin Totty, Barbon Insurance Group’s Chief Executive Officer. 

"When looking at the top 25 areas of rental growth versus the lowest 25 across the whole of the UK, we can see almost half of those in the top sector are within Greater London or the South East compared to the lowest 25 areas where almost half are northern regions, including Yorkshire and Humberside, the North East and North West. Tenants in the south are paying 10 per cent  more of their disposable income on rent than they were five years ago.