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Almost a fifth of people hit by rent or mortgage payment rises in last six months – FCA

  • 17/05/2023
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Almost a fifth of people hit by rent or mortgage payment rises in last six months – FCA
Nearly a fifth of UK adults have seen either their rent or mortgage payments rise over a six-month period, data from a financial regulator showed.

The Financial Lives survey conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that in the six months to January, 18 per cent of the 5,286 respondents had seen their rent or mortgage costs increase. 

This was a recontact survey and followed its initial Financial Lives survey completed in May last year. The regulator said it wanted to understand the impact of the cost of living on people, as well as provide insight both for itself and interested parties. 

Within the cohort of respondents with a mortgage, 29 per cent saw payment increases in six months and 34 per cent of renters saw a rise. 

The FCA said this equated to eight per cent of mortgage holders faced with higher monthly payments and a tenth of renters. 

The survey revealed that 11 per cent of people, equating to 5.6m UK adults, had missed at least three domestic bills or credit payments in the six-month period. 

The proportion of people who felt meeting these commitments was a heavy burden rose from 15 per cent to 21 per cent. 


Impact on wellbeing 

The survey revealed that financial burdens were impacting the mental wellbeing of respondents, with 54 per cent admitting to feeling more anxious or stressed. 

Some 28 per cent said they had lost sleep, while almost a quarter revealed they suffered with their mental health. A further 11 per cent said they avoided speaking to lenders or put off dealing with financial matters. 

As for the responsibility of keeping up with domestic bills and credit commitments, 21 per cent said it was a heavy burden, up from 15 per cent in May last year. Some 51 per cent said it was somewhat of a burden, up from 45 per cent last year. 

According to the survey, three quarters of respondents said the burden had increased over the six-month period. 

To help relieve some of the strain, of the people with insurance or protection policies, eight per cent cancelled one or more of their policies and seven per cent reduced the cover. 

Sheldon Mills, executive director of consumers and competition at the FCA, said: “Our research highlights the real impact the rising cost of living is having on people’s ability to keep up with their bills, although we are pleased to see that people have been accessing help and advice.   

“If you’re concerned about your finances, you do not need to worry alone. We’ve told lenders that they should provide support tailored to your needs. And, if you find yourself in debt or want to know more about how to manage your finances, free expert advice is available.   

“We will continue to act quickly to make sure financial firms help their customers who are facing financial difficulty or are worried they might be soon.” 

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