Millions of over-50s forced to take out loans to pay bills
Millions over 50s forced to take out loans to pay bills as rising costs push households to the brink
- 1.3 million people over 50 had a direct debit or bill they couldn’t pay, says Age UK
- The charity has called on the government to give more support this winter
One in five elderly people are now forced to borrow to pay their bills as rising costs push families further and further to the brink.
More than 3.4 million people ages 50 to 69 had to take out a loan or use more credit than usual in the past month compared to a year ago, a new report shows.
An estimated 1.3 million people over 50 had a direct debit, standing order or bill they couldn’t pay, according to research by charity Age UK.
Rising mortgage costs coupled with stubbornly high inflation mean that millions more are now struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis shows no signs of abating.
According to think tank the Resolution Foundation, prices rose 8.7 percent in the year to May, while mortgage payments for 800,000 people could rise by an average of £2,900 a year.
On the brink: More than 3.4 million people between the ages of 50 and 69 had to take out a loan or use more credit than usual in the past month
As the cost of living continues to rise, more than 16.9 million people aged 50 and over have seen their cost of living rise compared to just a month ago, Age UK finds.
Nearly half of all over-50s have cut back on food and other necessities to make ends meet.
Utility bills are still a major stumbling block, pushing many older households over the edge, the charity warns.
Caroline Abrahams, from Age UK, says the energy bill crisis is ‘far from over’.
She says, “Some elderly people are still struggling to pay their energy bills from last winter and many more don’t know how they will cope in a few months when temperatures drop again.”
Older people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income on heating, as they are more likely to live in energy-inefficient homes and need to stay warm for more hours a day.
The charity has called on the government to provide more support to those most in need over the coming winter.
Ms Abrahams says: ‘We need a permanent solution to the energy bill crisis – one that gives older people the reassurance that they will never again have to deal with the ‘heat or eat’ dilemma.
“If the government does not urgently provide financial support, many elderly people will face unacceptable problems this winter.”