Over half of Britain's home owners will hit problems if interest rates rise.
The Building Societies Association says new research which it has commissioned shows that 52 per cent of borrowers say they will struggle or fall behind with mortgage repayments as rates rise.
The survey has revealed that 10 per cent would experience substantial financial problems which a further 14 per cent said they would be able keep up with repayments, but it would be a constant struggle.
Another 23 per cent said that they would experience difficulty from time to time.
Some 18 per cent of borrowers say they will have to cut back on essentials such as food or clothing in order to make their monthly repayments while a further 15 per cent say they will have to work more hours in order to keep on top of their mortgage commitments.
"There are at least 1.85m home owners who have never experienced a rate rise and we have a record low Bank Base Rate for so long, so it is unsurprising some people are concerned that a rise in rates will affect their lifestyles and ability to make mortgage repayments" says Paul Broadhead, the BSA head of mortgage policy.
Economic analysts say that with inflation near zero and the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee recently voting eight to one to maintain base rate at 0.5 per cent, it is unlikely that interest levels will change until next spring.