3.2 million adults missed a major payment during the pandemic

3.2 million UK adults have missed some form of major payment over the last two years, according to research on adverse credit from The Mortgage Lender.

Related topics:  Mortgages,  Specialist Lending
Rozi Jones
9th March 2022
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"It’s nearly two years since the onset of Covid-19 and the true picture of the financial difficulty faced by some people is coming into sharp focus."

This equates to 6% of people who missed their usual payments, including on major expenses such as their rent, mortgage, or credit cards. Four in 100 UK adults admit to having missed multiple payments, representing a significant proportion of the population who’ve been financially squeezed throughout the pandemic and who may have fallen into adverse credit.

Young adults are more likely to have experienced financial difficulty throughout the pandemic, as the age group most affected by job instability. Over a tenth (11%) of 18-34-year-olds missed at least one usual payment in the past two years, nearly four times the amount of over-55s (3%). And 6% of young adults admit to having missed multiple payments.

Prospective homebuyers are more likely to have accrued adverse credit recently, with a tenth (10%) admitting to having missed one or more payments in the past two years, putting them at risk of having a mortgage application rejected.

Across all adults who admitted to missing a payment, the average number of payments missed was three, with almost a third (31%) missing five or more.

Looking at what bills had been missed, most had missed a credit card payment, at 45% of all missed payments. 25% missed their rent payments, 23% missed personal loan repayments, and 7% missed mortgage repayments.

Peter Beaumont, CEO of The Mortgage Lender, said: “It’s nearly two years since the onset of Covid-19 and the true picture of the financial difficulty faced by some people is coming into sharp focus. With greater clarity on household’s credit history during this period, we’re now seeing the potential dangers to people’s financial futures too. The past two years have impacted many people’s jobs and salaries, putting a squeeze on household finances, and now with the rising cost of living due to high inflation and energy costs there is even greater pressure on the nation’s finances. This can all lead an individual to miss a regular payment which then could have a knock-on affect on their access to credit down the line.

“In such a volatile economic climate, it’s important that more people are prevented from falling down a rabbit hole of financial difficulty. The lending market needs to become better equipped to deal with the greater quantities of people who are emerging from the pandemic with adverse credit histories. Rather then penalising people for the consequences of an unprecedented event, the industry should be working together to support those who’ve missed payments so that people, especially aspiring homeowners, aren’t locked out of the market.”

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