Indebted Brits ‘Increasingly Reliant’ on Money from Friends and Family

September 2, 2016

Growing numbers of people who are struggling with personal debt problems are turning to their friends and family for financial support.

But borrowing money from friends and relatives can have serious negative consequences and can often hinder the process of seeking support in dealing with debt.

That’s according to the debt help charity Step Change, which is reporting that a growing proportion of people who contact its debt advisors for assistance are now in debt to friends or family.

Worryingly, the figures involved are also on the rise with as much as £200 million now estimated to be owed to the friends and family of people struggling to manage their debts around the UK.

StepChange has revealed that the average amount of money owed to friends and family among its clients went from a value of £3,176 in the first half of 2014 to £4,046 in the first six months of 2016.

A poll conducted recently by the charity also found that almost a third of people who borrow money from their friends or family find that doing so has a negative impact on their relationships with the people involved.

In fact, for around one in 20 people with debt problems, the process of borrowing money from a partner has led directly to a relationship break up.

The concern for StepChange as a debt help charity is that many thousands of Brits might now be borrowing money from their friends and family instead of actually tackling the underlying causes of their financial problems.

“Lending money to help someone you care about is understandable, but if they are already in financial difficulty, more borrowing is not necessarily the answer and it can make things worse,” said Mike O’Connor StepChange’s chief executive.

“It is good that people support their friends and family, but lending them money can bring serious and unexpected problems. People need to take practical action to solve the underlying debt problem and taking debt advice is vital.”

If you live in Scotland and are struggling to cope with your debt problems then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact one of our experts directly to arrange a free and confidential consultation.




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