Beneath the surface

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Photo by Cortomaltese from Flickr

Normal service will be resumed within the next day or so, but in the meantime I found this story on the Shelter website interesting. Tenants and homeowners are resorting to paying their mortgage instalments or rent via credit cards. This recession may be less brutal on the whole than the one of the early 90s, but there are still victims who are finding it a struggle. It speaks volumes about the UK attitude to what seems, at first glance, like cheap borrowing: the rationale, I suspect, is that it is worse to go into arrears on your mortgage than to borrow money on plastic that you might have trouble repaying. As Martin Lewis points out, it is not. Ironically of course the mortgagors who are borrowing on credit cards to keep up with their payments have less protection if they fall into arrears than if they simply fell into arrears with their mortgage, particularly now the Horsham Properties/Clark & Beech loophole is to be closed – but more of this anon. Those advising clients in this position will probably be well aware of Martin’s site, www.moneysavingexpert.com, but I will give it a shout here for those who don’t.