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Credit cards to the rescue?

It’s been reported that around 2.6m Britons used a credit card to pay their mortgage or rent last year.

A study by homeless charity Shelter found that many households struggle to find the money to keep their homes.

Chief executive Campbell Robb said: 'This is a totally unsustainable situation.

'It is one we fear could see thousands more pushed into the spiral of debt, eviction or repossession and ultimately homelessness. Using credit cards to pay the rent or mortgage is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is the worst possible course of action.'

Shelter discovered that 4% of homes relied on cards to pay mortgages or rent during 2008 and 2009. And last year the figure was 6%. The charges on withdrawing cash on a credit card are usually sky high.

Companies typically levy 2.8% of the amount withdrawn, and add interest at an average of 25.6%.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has predicted 40,000 families will have their homes repossessed this year.

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