Struggling to pay the rent or mortgage? You’re not alone

In advance of our webchat with Shelter, today’s guest blog is from Kay Boycott, director of campaigns and policy at Shelter. SheShelter writes about how Shelter hear every day from mums battling to pay the rent or mortgage and how the roof over our heads can become a source of worry rather than a safe haven.


Struggling to pay the rent or mortgage? You’re not alone

Struggling to pay the rentAre you avoiding looking at your bank balance or leaving post unopened until next month for fear it could be another bill?  Or have that sinking feeling whenever you think about the mortgage?

We hear every day from mums battling every month to get the mortgage paid, or whose stress levels are through the roof worrying about next month’s rent.

Rising bills and higher prices in the supermarkets mean that family budgets now have to stretch even further, while rents have soared over the past few years making things even worse. Last month Shelter found that 1.4 million of us are falling behind with the rent or mortgage, and almost 8 million of us are now constantly struggling to keep up with our housing payments every month.

When we get in from a long day and close the door our home should be our place of fear of evictionsanctuary and comfort. Instead it can be the source of stress and heartache if things take a turn for the worse. Home is the centre of family life, linked to schools, nurseries, friends and support networks, so the thought of losing it and having to uproot all of that is devastating. The constant worry of an eviction notice coming through the door can cause many sleepless nights and a strain on relationships.

We’d do anything to keep the roof over our heads and it can be tempting to turn to payday lenders – especially as their adverts are now unavoidable! We’ve found that almost a million people last year took out a payday loan to help pay for their rent or mortgage. Another 2.8 million used an unauthorised overdraft to cover it. But both could make a bad situation even worse, potentially putting your home at risk.

housing loansWe’ve recently helped Mandy, a mum of three boys in West Sussex, who came to Shelter for advice when she was at risk of eviction. She works in a school but struggled to make her wages stretch and fell behind with the rent. In desperation she took out a payday loan and soon found herself taking out more to cover charges on the first. She told us: “I felt like there was no other choice than to take out the loan but found I couldn’t pay it back the next month. It’s just made everything ten times worse. I was at my wits end and felt completely hopeless.”

Getting advice early can help prevent the problem getting out of control. So often, like Mandy, people don’t know where to turn, while others find it too overwhelming to face. But the earlier you get free advice from an organisation like Shelter, the earlier you can get back on top of things.

This January we’re making a big effort to let people know we’re here to help however small or large the problem. The most important thing is to tackle the problem head on. If you’re struggling with the rent or mortgage don’t put it off for a few months, get advice today and save yourself a lot of worry in the future.


ShelterFailing to pay the rent or mortgage can lead to homelessness. If you’re having difficulty paying, make it your priority to get some advice from Shelter. We can help people stay in their homes.

Shelter are joining Netmums for a webchat on this issue on Tuesday 22nd January at 11am. If you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage or are worrying about housing costs then please do post your questions in advance and join us on the day of the webchat for help and advice.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in campaign, Charity, Home, Money and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Struggling to pay the rent or mortgage? You’re not alone

  1. This is a really valuable thing to know about, thank you.

  2. shelley says:

    This sounds just like me…hubby works we get no help but struggle every month to balance everything and yes not feeling like home but a rope round my neck …i would value some help…


      Hi Shelley -sorry to read your post – wondering if you have seen my post about the huge savings we have made on our household bills – seriously. I think there’s also a way to earn money yourself with this business – happy to chat….Jacky

    • Shelley – do join in our webchat and Shelter can give you some help and advice. You can find the link to the webchat in the blog post. Hope to see you there

  3. sarah earrey says:

    my husband was made redundant twice within 18 months, hes now taken a much lower paid job earning nearly £500 less a month than he was, i work part time as a care assistant also doing the odd overtime shifts,we have a 6yr old son. our wage barely covers the mortgage and bills, we have cut back so much that we can find nothing else to cut back on!! at the end of the day weve now said that as long as the mortgage, council tax,heating,water and food are paid for basically everything else goes by the by!! we get daily phonecalls/letters re our non payment of credit cards/club book, but what more can we do? cant give them what we havnt got!
    when he lost his jobs we applied for help but recieved nothing! based on what i was earning -£900 pr month, with a mortgage of £720 pr month!! work that out!
    those months were a real eye opener, basically we felt penalised for “owning ” our own home.

  4. Catherine Peel says:


    I’m not sure if this is the right address to email but, I’m a producer for ITV in Wales and am looking participants to take part in a current affairs programme on saving money.

    We are looking for a family who would like an expert to have a look at their daily life and help them save in certain areas.

    We are also after a group of women who have a regular, or are getting together for, clothes swapping parties.

    Are there any welsh members of netmums who can help and would like to take part?

    Please contact:

    Many Thanks


  5. Emma says:

    Hi ladies, we too are in an awful financial position. I’ve given up my self employed job as I’m pregnant, my husbands wage barely covers the bills and we just feel the situation is hopeless. We can’t afford any luxuries like even taking my step daughter to the cinema and every month is worse than the next as we are forced to borrow more! our mortgage is over £1000 a month and is a huge drain, but we are so far in negative equity that we can’t do anything about it! Feeling for everyone else out there in a similar position – not good. X


      Hi Emma. I really am so sorry to hear your story – sadly it’s becoming all too familiar. I would genuinely like to try and help with reducing your utility overheads (you may have seen my earlier post and sorry to be a repetative bore but it simply has saved us quite a bit of money) – and I hear there is an income source as well – might be worth you looking at – I’ve met lots of mums doing this business who fit it in around their children in the nooks and crannies of the day . Really worth a look at….why not email me and I can point you in the right direction Jacky x

  6. Sandra says:

    Hi Jacky
    Would you kindly point me in the right direction re:income source as i am in same shoes as Emma and could really do with any extra income. I will drop you an email if that is okay..cheers

  7. Tania Chambers says:

    I can’t believe that in this day and age that the goverment still don’t live in the real world, they cannt live like we can, I’m struggling now, but as far as me and my partner are concerned as long as we can pay the bills, well just, that’s all that matters, food forget it, food bank will come in handy…..and yes we have gone down the root to see if we can have help, and we are not so they expect two people to live on 12,500 a yr. Hmmmm such fun…..


      Hi Tania – it’s terrible to hear how much everyone is struggling. I wonder if you have seen my post – serously reduced my utility bills at home – wonder if that would help you? Pls feel free to call/email (07941572306/….Jacky

  8. Amanda Hepple says:

    I was made redundant last year ,not working for 6 months .and started my forever living business instead. It has been invaluable.i take it seriously as I didn’t have a choice and I have made serious money out of it because I had to succeed.I didn’t want to go to a job centre or claim benefits and i haven’t had to .I am always looking for people to join me ,and i will teach you how i have made forever work ,I am based near kingston but happy to help people outside of london all the way up to oxford and down to the coast thanks Amanda 07788872695 /

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