Sharon McDougall - 21st January 2022 - 2 minutes to read
The number of people struggling financially across the UK has doubled over the course of the pandemic, according to a new set of figures.
Research carried out for the debt help charity StepChange suggests that there are now almost one in three people finding it tough to keep up with their routine outgoings and their demands for debt repayments.
In March 2020, roughly 15 per cent of adults said they were up against it financially but that proportion is now up to 30 per cent.
According to StepChange, the pandemic has had the effect of significantly increasing the numbers of people who rely on credit and debt to make ends meet.
The latest figures indicate that some 8.6 million people in financial difficulty across Britain as of early 2022 collectively borrowed roughly £26 billion just to cover their basic costs over the previous 12 months.
Expectations are that more people will resort to borrowing money to cover their essential outgoings as the cost of living increases over the course of this year.
To make matters worse, potentially, a majority (53 per cent) of adults in the UK would be reluctant to communicate their debt problems to their lenders because they worry it might adversely affect their credit rating or cause extra anxiety.
The charity behind the research has called on relevant policymakers to oblige financial service firms to do more to help their customers who they ought to know are struggling with debt management problems.
“The sharp rise in the number of people struggling to meet their financial commitments should raise alarm bells across government, banks and regulators,” said StepChange’s chief executive Phil Andrew in a statement.
“We are two years into a financially damaging pandemic and going through the sharpest cost of living increase in a generation.
“While consumer credit can potentially play some part in helping people navigate short-term pinch points, this must not be at the cost of their long-term financial and personal wellbeing.”
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