Single mum fears selling home as mortgage repayments surge

A disabled single mum says she may have to sell her home and move into a motorhome as she can’t afford her mortgage repayments.

Abigail Tunstall, 49, bought her three-bedroom home in Truro for £180,000 in 2004. She moved onto a variable rate deal in 2018 and could initially afford the £360 a month repayments.

But her payments have shot up several times since January 2022 and they are going up again today as the base interest rate has gone up today from 4.5 percent to five percent.

With the added variable rate, Ms Tunstall believes it will go up to a total of around six percent but she has yet to receive confirmation how much her bill will be.

The mum-of-two said: “My financial life has imploded. Food is through the roof, and everything else is going up in price.

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“People have been clinging on by their fingertips but people will start losing their homes the way things are going.

“There’s a queue for social housing as long as your arm here, so there’s nowhere else to go. It’s terrifying, I’m not using food banks yet but it’s getting there.

“The second half of the month is impossible because there’s literally no money left. I have been looking at RVs now because I can’t see any other options aside from becoming homeless.”

She lives with several physical disabilities and has been unable to work full time since 2013. She has hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as well fibromyalgia and long Covid.

She gets benefits to help pay her the extra costs of her disability which she uses to support her youngest son, who is also disabled.

Ms Tunstall said: “With the mortgage where it currently is, we’re already struggling. Any rise is all the food money gone, literally. And the practicality is, there’s nowhere to go.”

The mum has lived on PIP and ESA payments from the Government as well as Child Tax Credit since 2016.

But she has struggled to cover the costs of food and other household bills as the cost of living has increased.

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During the winter they went without heat because of their high household bills, with the temperature in the home dropping to just nine degrees centigrade.

She said: “There are people out there in worse situations than me too – such as paying for childcare.

“There just isn’t enough money to go round and it feels like today is the tipping point. It’s incredibly stressful, which doesn’t help your health when you’re already disabled.”

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