According to a survey commissioned by Shelter and undertaken by YouGov, 11 per cent of people who pay rent or have a mortgage are worried about covering their housing costs in January.
When the survey of 4,150 is extrapolated to cover the population of mortgage and rent payers from the Office for National Statistics, the figures imply 3.2m people could struggle to make payments this month.
Survey data released last month by investors Legal and General suggested that if mortgage repayments rose by between £100 and £199 per month, a third of homeowners would not be able to afford them.
The warnings come despite the Bank of England’s main rate being held at a record low of 0.5 per cent. The next rate-setting meeting is this Thursday.
Many economists have predicted interest rates will not rise until at least 2016.