StepChange responds to Bank of England Money and Credit statistics

Responding to the latest Money and Credit figures for September, published today by the Bank of England, Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange Debt Charity, said:

“The continued drop in mortgage and re-mortgaging approvals, the latter of which has fallen to the lowest level in almost 25 years, is not surprising considering the sustained period of high interest rates. Meanwhile, there is still little indication of how long rates may remain high – leaving borrowers with little hope of respite from soaring housing costs.

“With the weather turning colder, households are now facing a rise in energy bills which will be particularly difficult for those who have secured a new mortgage deal this year at a much higher rate, and for renters who may have seen those borrowing costs passed on. As finances get tighter, there’s a risk that people may begin to turn more to credit to cope, and get trapped in an expensive borrowing spiral. Lenders must be alert to any customers who are showing signs of difficulty early, offering tailored support and signposting to debt advice.

“If you’re struggling with to meet your mortgage payments, or you’re worried about what having to renew your mortgage in the near future, don’t wait to get help. Charities like StepChange can offer free, impartial advice, and our new homeowner hub provides a one-stop-shop for mortgage-based advice and support.”