Soaring mortgage rates hit 14 million people’s mental health
New research from Mind has revealed the impact rising mortgage costs are having on people’s mental health, as well as their finances.
The findings show almost a third (29%) of people (almost 14 million) in England and Wales have been affected by hearing about or experiencing increasing mortgage costs over the last year. One in ten (10%) said that it had affected their mental health a lot.
The figures come as mortgage holders face a further increase in interest rates, with the Bank of England announcing a rise to 5.25% today – a 15 year high.
The research shows that the effect of increasing costs of mortgages was even greater for people with existing mental health problems, with almost four in 10 saying the increasing mortgage costs had worsened their mental health (36%).
Younger people across were also particularly impacted, with almost half (48%) 2 of those aged between 16 and 24 saying that the mortgage situation had impacted them in the same way.
Mind, which is the largest mental health charity in the UK, has seen a 55% increase in the number of people contacting its Infoline over the last 18 months about financial difficulties, including welfare, unemployment, and personal debt.
Commenting on the figures, Vicki Nash, Mind’s Associate Director of External Affairs, said:
“As we continue to grapple with the rising cost of living, news of yet another possible increase in mortgage rates will be difficult for many families to bear. Money problems and mental health often form a vicious cycle, and when we’re struggling to deal with one, the other can become much harder to manage, particularly when it threatens to impact our housing situation.
“We know some people are becoming so unwell that they need hospital treatment for their mental health. When this happens, the care they receive when they leave hospital is critical, so we are calling for the introduction of comprehensive welfare checks, including of people’s financial situation.
“These figures show this is a mental health emergency that everyone is going to need help to deal with. We know we can’t fix the cost-of-living crisis but support for your mental health is out there, and we are here for you. This includes through Mind’s Infoline, online community, Side by Side and the useful information on our website that will be available throughout this difficult period.”
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), said: “Mortgage brokers are seeing evidence every day of the stress being felt by mortgage holders who are facing much higher interest rates than anyone anticipated. We hear of people in tears, others thinking of selling up, but with nowhere to go. In addition, the volatility means that we see mortgage products withdrawn with very little notice, forcing brokers to work late into the night or during weekends in addition to the normal week. All of this can impact mortgage brokers’ own mental health.
“These new pressures can damage the mental health of those involved directly, but also puts pressure on relationships with family and friends. Brokers are not trained to deal with these extreme impacts. It is crucial that charities like Mind focus on these issues and we welcome their work in supporting people at this difficult time. The AMI also has our own Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter, but this will only scratch the surface.”
Ben Groves, of Affinity Mortgages, who has worked as a Mortgage Broker for three years, said: "Lenders are not making it easy for mortgage brokers and there is not enough wellbeing support. At the moment they are changing rates with as little as two hours' notice, so if you are working with multiple families in a day, it is almost impossible to be able to react and secure a new product in time for them.
"I am having really difficult discussions with people about their payments doubling or tripling to many hundreds of pounds more a month, and brokers are on the frontline seeing the impact this is having on people’s lives. You feel guilty if you haven't been able to secure a new deal if the lender changes products on the same day, and I'm often re-doing work and working late into the evenings submitting applications to try to support my clients as best as I can. All of this can have an impact on our own mental health.
"It's not unrealistic to ask for more notice from lenders to give brokers time to do their jobs well, and there must be support for people in my line of work who are finding the stress of the current situation affecting their mental wellbeing."
 Exact figure is 13,865,647 adults, based on 28.55% of the population over 16 in England and Wales of 48,566,190, according to 2021 Census data & Gov.uk calculations of population over 16. The data for England and Wales has been weighted to reflect a Nat Rep sample of these two countries.
 Combined answers of “Affected my mental health a lot” and “Affected my mental health a little” to “How, if at all, did hearing about or experiencing any of the following national issues affect your mental health in the last year?” Respondents were prompted on 13 different issues.