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Millions Of Homeowners To 'Suffer' Financially

Nov 30, 2007
A rising number of homeowners may find themselves coming under increased financial pressure, new figures show.

In a study released by Mintel, an estimated 5.5 million, or one in three, Britons could be due to see a surge in their monthly mortgage repayments and lenders' fee should they wish to move home or remortgage their property. According to the media intelligence firm, out of the country's 16.5 million mortgage holders, 1.5 million (nine per cent) are considered sub-prime, with a further four million deemed to be of high risk by lenders because they are either self-employed, have moved home several times or have developed problems making payments on household bills. In turn, it was suggested that the "unconventional financial situation" of such people may mean they could see a rise in costs in the future.

And should such people face a rise in payments, they could well develop problems in meeting other demands on their finances such as loans and utility bills. The news comes in the wake of the recent credit crunch and sub-prime crisis which has seen a number of loan lenders increase their rates of interest and implement stricter borrowing criteria.

Commenting on the statistics, Toby Clark, senior finance analyst for Mintel, said: "The focus over the last few months has very much been on sub-prime borrowers, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. With lenders becoming increasingly cautious about who they give money to, many more mortgage holders will be offered less than favourable terms when they come to remortgage. Those coming off fixed-rate deals taken out before the recent interest rate rises will be particularly hard-hit. As many may not be able to absorb any increases in costs, we could see literally millions of people really start to suffer financially."

Pointing to a "worst case scenario", Mr Clark suggested if homeowners are struggling to manage with an increase in mortgage costs they could well get into arrears, while they may also develop difficulties in making payments on other areas such as secured loans and credit cards, leading to their property being repossessed. In addition, research from the firm also revealed that about one in five consumers (4.3 million) who are looking to get a mortgage in the future state they already see themselves experiencing financial difficulties as a result of problems with their income, working status and other circumstances.

At the moment, Mintel reports that about 18 million adults could find that they are classed as 'non-standard' lending borrowers. However by 2012 this figure could rise to 20 million should money lenders become stricter with their criteria, a move that in turn could increase many consumers' difficulties in accessing cheap UK loans.

As a result, before their financial problems increase even more, now could be a good time for many people to apply for personal loans in the UK to help manage spending. Speaking earlier this month, Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert, reported that although cheap secured loans are becoming increasingly difficult to find, due to lenders withdrawing products following the credit crunch, "there are still good deals out there". He added that those borrowing large amounts of money are more likely to secure more competitive rates of interest as financial providers see them as being reliable in making repayments in the future.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 stop finance shop where visitors can apply for UK secured loans and also focuses on cheap personal loansand loans for bad credit for UK residents.
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