Rate rise could make millions struggle

Of the 17.1 million homeowners in the UK 5.8 million fear a rate rise, while half with any type of mortgage were worried.

Some said a rise would mean they would struggle to find money for food, or even be forced to sell their home.

Many aspiring homeowners meanwhile said it would make getting on the property ladder much harder.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “Homeowners are already really struggling to make ends meet, and millions could be pushed into real financial hardship when interest rates start to rise.

“It shows just how severe the cost of living crisis is that a rise in interest rates could lead to some homeowners struggling to afford food or being forced to sell their homes.

“The Bank of England needs to tread very carefully to avoid causing widespread financial difficulties.”

Interest-only mortgage holders are especially worried, with 64% saying they fear how difficult a rate rise will make affording payments on loans and debts.

Regionally, homeowners in the East are most fearful about rising interest rates, as 47% compared with 34% of UK homeowners nationally said they were worried.

Doug Crawford, chief executive of myhomemove, added: “If you are worried about rising interest rates, we’d recommend you talk to your mortgage provider now and maybe consider fixing your mortgage to provide greater certainty over the coming months and years.

“Interest rates could begin to rise as soon as November of this year. Christmas could be a tough time for the thousands of homeowners who are already on tight budgets.”