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Millions miss regular payments amid pandemic

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More than three million people missed a major payment in the past two pandemic years, with credit card and utility bills top of the list.

Around 6% of people missed their usual payments, including major and regular payments such as rent, mortgage and credit card bills.

For four in 10 people, they admit to having missed multiple payments, and overall, some 3.2 million people in the UK haven’t been able to meet their usual bill demands.

The research by The Mortgage Lender found that young adults are more likely to have experienced financial difficulty throughout the pandemic.

More than one in 10 of 18-34-year-olds missed at least one usual payment in the past two years, nearly four times the amount of over-55s.

The lender warned missed payments can have big implications for access to credit in the future, including large loans like a mortgage.

It said it is worrying that prospective homebuyers are more likely to have accrued adverse credit recently, with 10% missing one or more payments in the last two years.

Overall, the representative sample of 2,000 adults found that the average number of payments missed came to three, while a third missed five or more.

Nearly half of those polled (45%) missed a credit card payment, followed by 40% for a utility bill.

For 27%, it was council tax, while for 25%, they missed their rent payments.

And personal loan repayments were also missed in 23% of cases, while 7% admitted to missing a mortgage repayment.

Peter Beaumont, CEO of The Mortgage Lender, said: “It’s nearly two years since the onset of Covid-19 and the true picture of the financial difficulty faced by some people is coming into sharp focus. With greater clarity on household’s credit history during this period, we’re now seeing the potential dangers to people’s financial futures too.

“The past two years have impacted many people’s jobs and salaries, putting a squeeze on household finances, and now with the rising cost of living due to high inflation and energy costs there is even greater pressure on the nation’s finances. This can all lead an individual to miss a regular payment which then could have a knock-on effect on their access to credit down the line.”

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