Shocking figures revealed as winter fuel costs are hiked by up to £120
Some 2.5 million people will have to borrow money to heat their homes this Christmas. The shock statistics are published as energy users are hit this month with winter fuel hikes of up to £120.
Research published today by affordable property group Circle Housing suggests that around seven million people will be forced to take out a loan to cover extra costs this Christmas.
While four million people say the loans will be to pay for festive food and drink, more than a third of borrowers will use the cash to pay their winter energy bills.
Worryingly, one in 20 borrowers – 350,000 – will use a payday loan while nearly 150,000 will turn to an unofficial lender or loan shark.
Faisel Rahman, the managing director of Fair Finance, a social enterprise which fights financial exclusion, said: “These figures reinforce what we are seeing on the ground as more people are using high cost credit, not for luxuries but for household essentials. While vulnerable tenants are most at risk, this report highlights how the rising costs impact all of us.”
Rather than looking forward to enjoying the festive period, one in six people said that they associate Christmas with “dread”, “worry” or “anxiety”.