The survey found that six per cent of respondents had paid their rent or mortgage by credit card in the past 12 months, suggesting a national figure of more than a million people.
One in 12 Londoners paid by credit card, while the highest proportion of those who pay their rent or mortgage through credit were from working class professions. Four per cent of middle/upper class said they use credit cards in this way.
Shelter director of policy and campaigns Kay Boycott says: “This is a shocking discovery, that over a million households in Britain are in such desperate circumstances that they need to borrow money on credit cards to pay for basic housing costs.
“If people are already struggling to the extent that they fear losing their home, increasing credit card debt cannot be the answer.”