Debt is becoming an increasing problem for UK households, with 42% of people worried about their debts and how to pay them off, according to the recently published Infographic, ‘Personal Debt in the UK‘.
This not only causes problems with their day-to-day spending, but it can also lead to additional issues in their lives, including relationship and mental-health problems.
The Infographic, published by financial experts, Baines & Ernst, shows that just over two-fifths of UK adults have become worried about their debts. The things they were most concerned about (32%) were credit and store card debts. Following this, 14% were worried about their overdrafts and 12% about mortgage repayments. With 20% of consumers not thinking there’ll be an improvement in the next six months, the situation is unlikely to change in the near future.
As more people find themselves with higher levels of debt, there are increasing worries about how they’re going to pay their creditors. Data from the Infographic, which was compiled by ComRes, shows that 25% of people have no savings, so if they require any additional funds there’s no alternative but to borrow. 8% of households are now falling behind with bills and the same number are only able to pay off the interest on personal debts, rather than reducing their balance.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around half the population is now in debt, with the average figure standing at £3,200 (excluding mortgage debts). This figure has increased by an average of £400 per family. It’s mainly a problem that affects lower-income families, with those earning the least owing the most. Almost 75% of single-parent families have some form of debt, as do 70% of those who are married or in a relationship with children.
Why are people getting into debt?
Debt problems are generally not caused by excessive spending anymore. The data from the Baines & Ernst Infographic highlights that only 13% of people see their debt as a result of non-essential spending. Unfortunately, for 38% of people it’s caused by the rising cost of living, which they can do nothing to curb. With the increased economic pressures, 15% of households blame loss of employment as a catalyst for their debt problems.
What problems does debt cause?
Debt concerns can lead to issues in personal or work lives. Stress can affect people in a number of different ways and it can cause mental-health problems. A survey from MoneySupermarket found that one in six people had become so worried about their debt that it had led to mental-health issues.
As people get further into debt, it’s hard for them to see a way out of the problem. With it increasingly being as a direct result of inflation and higher living costs, many households are turning to second jobs in a bid to make ends meet. Research for the freelance website People Per Hour shows that 130,000 people now have a second job, with the extra money going towards paying for essential items. 33% took on the work to pay energy and other household bills and 25% to help with food costs.
How to reduce debt
For those with concerns about their debt, it’s better to seek advice sooner rather than leaving the situation to become more desperate. There are a number of solutions for consumers who want to pay off their debts.
A Debt Management Plan allows you to consolidate debts into one affordable monthly payment, which is then distributed to all your creditors. It can help to ease pressure surrounding debts and help you to repay debts at a rate you can afford.
Being in any form of debt is worrying for most people. However, the answer is to seek help and to try to reduce your financial commitments, which will reduce the burden of debt and lead to a less stressful life.