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Have you used your credit card to cover your mortgage or rent?

A survey by housing charity Shelter has highlighted a very disturbing trend in the UK mortgage market which has seen up to 1,000,000 people using their credit cards to cover their monthly rent or mortgage payments. While this only represents 6% of homes in the UK it is a trend which could continue in the short to medium term as more and more UK households come under pressure to cover their monthly budgets.

Aside from the fact using a credit card to cover your mortgage or rent payments is effectively swapping one debt for another, it is the fact that UK credit card interest rates are significantly higher than mortgage and loan rates which is the major concern. The longer this trend continues the more we will see people struggle to cover their credit card payments which will at some point lead to a collapse in their financial well-being.

There is no doubt that using credit card facilities to cover mortgage and rent payments is literally "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and has the potential to create larger problems in the future. It would appear that many people are banking on a recovery in the UK economy in the short term, although as we have covered today, even UK banks and building societies are concerned about the outlook for the UK economy in 2010 and 2011.

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