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Two million households missed mortgage, credit card or debt payment in April

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Two million households missed or defaulted on at least one mortgage, rent, loan, credit card or bill in April. Of that number, 700,000 missed either a rent or mortgage payment last month as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

The 7.3% missed payment rate seen last month is in line with the level seen at the same time last year, but higher than in April 2021 (6.5%) and April 2020 (5.2%).

As part of the research by consumer organisation Which?, it found that one in 20 renters surveyed said they had missed a payment in the last month. Missed rent payments have stayed at a high rate throughout the last year, the consumer body reported.

Just over 3% of mortgage borrowers have also missed a mortgage payment in April, a ‘worrying’ number says Which?, as the Bank of England is due to meet this week to decide whether to increase the base rate once again.

Bill remain the most common type of missed payment among the population as a whole (4.4%) with energy bills most commonly missed (2%), followed by council tax (1.6%).

Meanwhile, six in ten households reported making at least one adjustment to cover essential spending such as utility bills, housing costs, groceries, school supplies and medicines in the last month, equal to an estimated 16.6 million households.

Adjustments include cutting back on essentials, dipping into savings, selling possessions or borrowing.

‘Reach out to lender or landlord’

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “It’s very worrying that so many households are missing housing payments. We’d encourage anyone who’s struggling to seek free debt advice and reach out to their mortgage provider or landlord for help.

“As so many people face financial hardship, Which? is calling on businesses in essential sectors like food, energy and telecoms providers to do more to help customers get a good deal and avoid unnecessary or unfair costs and charges during this crisis.”