Getting on the property ladder can be tough – from saving the deposit to covering the stamp duty and solicitor’s fees – and that’s before you even set foot in the property.
So when you finally move into your home, the last thing you want to do is put it in jeopardy. For homeowners who find themselves struggling with debt, the thought of losing their home can be a constant worry.
Yet research from Debt Advisory Centre suggests that in the last five years, there has been a 52% increase in the number of homeowners seeking help with their debt problems. In 2008, just 25% of their clients were homeowners; today, the figure stands at 38%.
Reasons for debt
When you make the transition from renting to owning your own property, there’s no doubt it brings with it extra responsibilities when it comes to your finances.
The mortgage itself is the most obvious cost, but the other costs of homeownership can really add up too, from buildings insurance to maintenance and repairs. And once the Bank of England’s base rate starts rising, plenty of homeowners are likely to struggle with the increased cost of repaying their mortgages.
These aren’t the only problems homeowners face, of course. Just like tenants, a lot of homeowners have to cope with rising living costs at the same time as paying off unsecured debts. That can be tough – especially for people who’ve simply over-committed themselves financially.
When you’re a homeowner, debt can be particularly worrying because of what could happen to your home.
The important thing is to get help – and do it sooner, rather than later, since putting it off can give your problems time to grow, making them a lot harder to deal with.
A spokesperson for Debt Advisory Centre, who provided this article, said: “While there is an air of freedom about owning your own property, it can also put a big strain on the bank balance.
“Although it’s worrying to see any increase in people with debt problems, at least it’s reassuring that they’re getting help, rather than suffering in silence.
“I’d advise anyone reading this who’s worried about losing their home to get in touch with an expert and find out more about the options that might be open to them.”