Get advice if this is you

Credit card use for paying mortgages/rents and basic household bills is increasing, as is the cost of living beyond retirement age.

Here are two separate stories of gloom received today that are perhaps uncomfortably related:

House of Cards

More than one million householders used credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent in the last 12 months. A Shelter survey reveals the highest proportion of those who pay their rent or mortgage through credit card were from working class professions (8% of those in the C2DE social grouping), but the poll also showed that middle/upper class (ABC1 category) are also falling victim, with 4% of respondents saying they use credit cards in this way.

Although being a credit card tart is still possible for some of us, opportunities to increase or transfer balances are narrowing and availability of mortgage products remains tight. The buck is about to stop – and people’s homes will ultimately be at risk.

How much in old money?

The average retired household needs to find up to £429 extra a year to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed 12 months ago. MGM Advantage estimates the cost of living for the average home has risen by £670 or 1.85% over the last year. The annual household expenditure for a home where the main occupant is aged 65 – 74 is now around £23,107, compared to £14,926 for a household where the main occupant is aged 75 and over, and £36,889 for the average home.

Estimated expenditure (£)
Commodity or service 65-74 75 and over All households
Food & non-alcoholic drinks 3216.18 2233.69 3668.93
Alcoholic drinks, tobacco & narcotics 710.96 307.23 756.97
Clothing & Footwear 849.97 550.97 1696.84
Housing(net), fuel & power 2464.65 2323.80 3936.23
Household goods & services 1877.74 1217.17 2624.04
Health 465.35 301.64 371.61
Transport 2909.13 1414.30 5033.29
Communication 691.23 448.06 1103.94
Recreation& Culture 3701.04 1949.24 4433.14
Education 381.02
Restaurant & hotels 1612.86 896.12 2943.84
Miscellaneous goods & services 1603.33 1336.24 2926.45
Other  expenditure groups 3004.14 1947.33 7012.27
Total Spent 23,106.58 14,925.78 36,888.58

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Help is available!
If you are struggling to make ends meet, contact Community Legal Advice for your debt, housing and employment problems. They can also do a benefit check to see if you are entitled to Tax Credits or local and state benefits. Do it now!

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