Money Wellness
picture of the Bank of England building
category iconcost of living
calendar icon11 May 2023

Interest rate rises again to the highest level since 2008

The Bank of England has voted today to increase its interest rate from 4.25% to 4.5%.

The Bank of England has raised rates at every opportunity since December 2021, increasing the base rate from 0.1 to 4.5% in the space of just over a year. This is the 12th consecutive hike.

If you’re a homeowner with a variable mortgage rate or your fixed-rate deal is due to come to an end this could well mean you’re looking at increased monthly payments. And even if you’re a private tenant, you might find your landlord tries to pass on rising costs to you. So what should you do if you’re struggling to make your mortgage or rent payments?

If you’re struggling with mortgage payments

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) figures suggest another 356,000 households will fall behind with their mortgage payments by the end of June next year, with those coming off a fixed-rate deal looking at an average increase of £340 a month.

However, the FCA has also reassured borrowers they are not alone. Sheldon Mills from the FCA said: ‘Your lender has a rage of tools available to help. Get in touch as soon as you have concerns, don’t wait until you’re about to miss a payment before doing so. Just talking to them about your options won’t affect your credit rating.’

Recent guidance for lenders from the FCA confirms that firms are expected to support customers in financial difficulty. It states that lenders need to consider a range of options for helping people struggling, including offering a period of reduced monthly payments or extending the term of their mortgage.

So the first step if you’re worried about making your mortgage payments is always to speak to your lender to see how they can help. You can find more information in our guide on what you should do if you fall behind with your mortgage payments.

If you’re struggling to pay your rent

The rent prices paid by private tenants in the UK rose by 4% in the 12 months to November 2022. As a tenant, it’s important to know your rights to avoid being exploited. In most circumstances, your landlord can only increase your rent once a year and it has to be by a reasonable amount. You can find more information on your rights and what to do if you’re struggling to pay on the government website.

There are also ideas on how to make savings in other areas and information on the support that’s available if money worries are affecting your mental health in our blog on how to manage rising rents and mortgage interest rates.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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