Rise in over-60s with mortgage arrears
More older people are seeking help with mortgage arrears. The number of over-60s contacting the charity with mortgage arrears has risen by 44 percent since 2009, compared to an average increase of just three percent across all age groups.
A total of 5,719 homeowners over the age of 60 contacted us for advice on dealing with unmanageable debt in 2011 – of which one in five (1,111) had mortgage arrears, up from 769 in 2009.
The average arrears of clients in this age group has also increased – from £3,556 in 2009 to £4,375 in 2011, with clients an average of six and a half months behind with their mortgage payments last year.
We are going to monitor closely this trend and believe it is particularly worrying given the current low interest rates.
We are warning that, with many older people taking higher levels of debt with them into retirement, this could be the start of a long-term trend towards far higher levels of mortgage difficulty in later life.
Family members have a key role to play, that if a parent or grandparent is struggling to cope with their mortgage costs or other debts, the best thing to do is to help them seek free debt help from a debt charity as early as possible.