13th November 2013
The rising cost of housing is creating financial pressure upon millions of people around the UK. A recent survey by the BBC’s Panorama program discovered that 46% of people believe that the cost of renting or buying a home in their area has become unaffordable.
Both Shelter and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have determined that housing costs in excess of one third of a household’s income might render it impossible to financially support other essential financial needs. The results of the Panorama survey suggest that 31% of households in the UK currently pay a greater proportion than one third of their income on mortgage or rent costs each month.
Recent published data suggests that both property prices and rental costs are approaching record high levels at the current time, though there are significant regional disparities.
Given that so many people are paying such a significant sum for their mortgage or rent each month, and given that wages have been relatively static for several years, there’s clearly potential for millions of households to struggle to manage to pay for basic necessities on a month-to-month basis.
Where families are struggling in this way it’s vital that they continue to pay their mortgage or rent in full and on time wherever possible. Other essential services and expenses such as electricity, gas, water and council tax also need to be treated as a priority.
This can leave families in a position where it’s no longer possible to repay other debts, perhaps credit cards or bank loans, without taking out further credit from other sources. If high housing costs have left you in this position it’s important to address the problem head-on at the earliest stage possible.
The experience of debt advisers is that many of their clients have suffered financially for many months (sometimes years) prior to taking advice. Sometimes their unsecured debts have increased dramatically over that period of time while they try to juggle their various commitments. Sometimes important payments have lapsed and either their home or an essential utility becomes at threat of being lost.
As well as being financially damaging such a scenario can also take a heavy toll on health, relationships and the professional standing of an individual that can no longer truly manage and steadily repay their debts.
If your housing costs have reached an unaffordable level and this has led to debt problems it’s wise to take debt advice at the earliest possible stage. The solutions that are available tend to be less onerous and shorter in duration the sooner a problem is tackled. Debt advisers are able to offer solutions to all enquirers, an outcome that many people doubt will be the case and which sometimes holds them back from seeking advice in the first instance.
If you’d like advice from one of our professionally qualified debt advisers please get in touch. They’re friendly, understanding and will be able to work with you to identify solutions that will put you back in control of your finances in the future.