Problem Debt ‘Affecting 1 in 6 Adults in the UK’

September 20, 2017

As many as one in every six adults living in the UK are faced with financial challenges that amount to them being in ‘problem debt’.

That’s according to figures from the Money Advice Service, which was set up by the UK government and keeps track of the financial difficulties being faced by individuals and families throughout the country.

The organisation’s latest figures on what it refers to as “over-indebtedness” show that there are around 8.3 million British adults with debt burdens that are persistently problematic.

That number represents around 15.9 per cent of the adult population and an increase from the corresponding figure for 2016.

Over-indebted individuals are taken to be those whose debts make it difficult for them pay their monthly bills or who have missed three or more bill payments within a six-month period.

According to the Money Advice Service’s latest figures, the most over-indebted regions of the country during 2017 so far were the North East of England and Wales, followed by London and the North West of England.

A separate set of figures released recently by the debt charity StepChange suggests that demand for debt advice is rising nationwide and that debt problems are increasingly affecting young adults and people who rent their homes.

The charity reported earlier this year that there are now close to nine million people who rely on credit to cover their everyday expenses and therefore lack financial resilience.

Personal debt burdens across the country are currently at levels not seen since 2008 and StepChange has warned that the number of UK consumers with serious debt problems could be set to continue rising in the coming months and years.

“Nearly 9 million people in the UK are using credit just to cover their everyday living expenses,” said Mike O’Connor, StepChange chief executive.

“Many are in irregular or insecure work, those who have borne the brunt of cuts to welfare, or those who are particularly vulnerable.

“In a time when households increasingly lack financial resilience, it takes very little to push someone from position of just about managing into long-term financial difficulty.”

If you live anywhere in Scotland and are worried about your debt problems then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact your nearest SDS office to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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