Thousands of British pensioners face debts

Thousands of pensioners face debts as they struggle to make ends meet on the state pension, according to recent research.

One in 10 pensioners calling Age Concern, some in their 80s, is struggling to clear mortgages and pay bills such as council tax.

The charity is concerned at the increasing numbers of pensioners struggling to service their debts, including mortgages, loans and credit card borrowing.

Phil Veale, the financial services development manager at Age Concern, points out: "Reasons for older people building up significant debts include the need for home improvements and a range of unsecured borrowings, such as credit cards and personal loans, which have built up over time. We have examples of people - by no means isolated cases - of 80-year-old home-owners who are struggling to clear their mortgages.

"Coping with mortgage repayments is not easy at the best of times, but for an octogenarian it can be financially disastrous."

The problem has been exacerbated by above inflation increases in council tax and fuel bills.

For example, British Gas has increased its prices three times in the past 20 months, the last rise being a whopping 14.2 per cent for both gas and electricity. The average council tax bill has more than doubled since 1997, the Telegraph reports.


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