A fifth of adults have missed a payment in past 12 months, research reveals

As inflationary pressures continue to squeeze the nation’s finances, new research from Bluestone Mortgages has revealed that one in five (18%) adults – the equivalent to 9.7 million people – have missed a payment in the past 12 months.

This includes utility bills or credit cards (both 7%), tax bills or loan repayment (both 5%).

Additionally, 7% of those with a mortgage have missed a payment.

For these individuals, it’s unlikely that when they miss a payment it’s a one-off. Seven in 10 (71%) of those who missed a credit card payment did so more than once.

Similarly, of those who missed a utility payment, more than three-quarters (78%) missed more than one.

However, despite these financial challenges, the findings also reveal one in seven (14%) adults are too embarrassed to seek financial support should they need it, while 13% say they would not know where to begin.

Additionally, more than one in 10 (12%) would feel too embarrassed about the state of their finances, and a similar amount (9%) would be worried about the impact on their credit score.

At a time when nearly half (49%) of UK adults are concerned about the impact of the current inflationary environment on their ability to pay their mortgage, the research reveals a lack of awareness and understanding of the support options available.

17% of people are unaware that support from a financial organisation such as their mortgage lender or energy provider could help them in the event of financial hardship, and a further third (36%) are aware of the support but don’t know how it could help them.

Reece Beddall (pictured), head of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “The ongoing cost-of-living crisis and squeeze on affordability are taking their toll, with one in seven having missed a payment over the last year.

“This undoubtedly has a knock-on effect on someone’s credit score and can impact their ability to borrow.

“However, rather than shying away from talking about the state of their finances and ending up in financial difficulty, we must encourage people to seek the help and support they need.”

He added: “The mortgage industry has a key role to play in supporting those who are embarrassed to talk about their financial situation.

“For brokers, this involves creating a safe space for their customers to discuss their unique circumstances and any credit issues, while lenders should place greater emphasis on education to help increase people’s financial awareness.

“It’s our duty as an industry to signpost customers to the support options available to suit their unique circumstances.”