Numbers Seeking Help with Debt Problems ‘At Record High’

September 8, 2016

The number of people seeking help in dealing with their personal debt problems reached a record high in the first half of 2016.

That’s according to the debt help charity StepChange, which has revealed that more people called its advisors for guidance between January and the end of June this year than has ever been the case before.

As many as 300,000 people around the UK apparently sought assistance from the charity in the six-month period, with their debts estimated to collectively total in the region of £2.4 billion.

On average, each person to contact StepChange had £13,826 worth of personal debts, with personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards bills cited most commonly as key causes of concern.

But while over-borrowing continues to be a big issue for indebted Brits, there are also many thousands of people struggling to make ends meet and keep up with their household bills.

In fact, according to StepChange, around 40 per cent of the people its advisors spoke to in the first half of this year were finding it tough to cover their monthly mortgage or rental payments, or to pay off utility and council tax bills.

“These figures paint a worrying picture of the reality of problem debt across the UK. Too many of our fellow citizens are struggling just to make ends meet,” said Mike O’Connor, StepChange chief executive.

“If we are to help people and their families get back on their feet and contribute to a growing economy, the government needs to take the issue of personal debt seriously.”

StepChange’s figures suggest that the average age of people reaching out for help with their debts has been falling during 2016, with debt problems increasingly impacting Brits aged under 25.

Credit cards remain the most common type of debt which leads people to contact debt help experts, followed by bank account overdrafts and personal loans.

According to the latest figures, more people in full time jobs sought out help with their debts during the first half of this year than during any comparable period since 2011.

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

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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