CHESTER, England, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Over a third of Brits with debt have decreased their debt in the last year
- Average UK personal debt is £6,926, down from £8,431 last year
- Over a quarter increased debt levels in last year
- Men likely to be more in the red than women, owing 37 per cent more
Over a third (35 per cent) of Brits have reduced their debt levels in the last year according to new research from MoneySupermarket.com.* The average amount of personal debt, excluding mortgages, is £6,926, a reduction of £1,500 since last year.** On average, men have a 37 per cent higher rate of personal debt than women, owing £8,061 compared to £5,869.
However, not everyone has managed to reduce their debt burden, as over a quarter (27 per cent) of Brits with debt have had to increase their total amount of non-mortgage borrowing in the last year. Although more people in the red are paying down debt than increasing it, one in three (38 per cent) are still worried about their debt levels.
The research went on to find that those who are in debt but not already worried about their borrowing levels would need their debt to increase to £13,761 before they become concerned***. This extra debt would go as far as causing stress for almost half (46 per cent) and sleepless nights for over a quarter (27 per cent).
One in ten (10 per cent) can only afford to make the very minimum repayments to resolve their debt, meaning they will be paying over the odds in interest on their debt for a very long while. Six per cent feel debt will always be part of the way they lead their life, leaving them at risk of never escaping the debt trap.
Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at MoneySupermarket.com, said: "It's encouraging to see consumers showing prudence and looking to pay down their debt. However, with the economic outlook continuing to remain uncertain, many Brits are feeling very concerned about their current financial situation. Balancing the household budget is hard enough without being saddled with the additional pressure of debt repayments. However, there is no need to suffer in silence and there are many options to make steps to reduce personal debt, before it escalates out of control.
"Reviewing all of your outgoings to see where you can make savings can really help free up cash which can be used to pay off your debts. In fact, families can save £1,000 on all of their household bills by switching providers - including energy bills, home and car insurance. If you have a credit card then switching to a zero per cent interest product may help in the long term - it allows you to pay off your existing balance over time without accruing additional interest, but make sure you repay on time each month otherwise you will lose the promotional deal.
"For those who are feeling very worried about the burden of debt there are support services available. Consumers should explore do-it-yourself solutions and fee free debt advice from some of the many debt charities such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), Money Advice Trust or Citizens Advice Bureau. Tackling debt can be difficult, and however big or small the amount can feel like a daunting task. Borrowers may feel they are trapped in a cycle of debt but there are ways to break it. It is always worth speaking directly to your creditors to try and come up with a suitable repayment plan, but for those who can no longer control and service their debts, a debt management company could be an alternative option; but it's vital that you compare the best solutions available to suit your circumstances."
Notes to editors:
*Does not include mortgage debt but includes credit cards, loans, store cards, overdrafts etc
Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,012 UK adults aged 18+ from 15th to 18th June 2012.
**Fieldwork was conducted from the 1st to 4th April 2011 across 2,004 online interviews (UK Nat. Rep) by Opinium Research
*** Of those not already worried about their debts
MoneySupermarket.com compares (at 20th June 2012)
- 100 car insurance providers and 81 home insurance providers
- 12 broadband providers and 18 energy providers
- 32 unsecured loan and 6 secured loan providers
- 58 mortgage lenders and 28 credit card providers
- 67 savings providers and 37 current account providers.
- Over 1,700,000 mobile phone deals
We help our customers to save money on all of their household bills by providing a free, easy to use online service so they can compare a wide range of products in one place and find the product most suited to their needs. Our size means we are able to offer our customers exclusive, market-leading deals, including some they can't even get direct from providers.
By having considerable volumes of informed customers actively looking for products and ready to purchase, we offer our providers an efficient and cost effective customer acquisition solution across all of our channels. This enables our providers to target their marketing spend in an effective and completely measurable way.
Our revenue comes predominantly from fees paid to us by product providers when a customer clicks through to their website and actually applies for or purchases a product. It is a success based marketing fee.
Our customer commitment
- We make it easy to find the brands you expect to see
- We strive to ensure a product cannot be found cheaper by going direct
- We let you remain in control of your personal data
- We are independent and impartial
- We make it easy to switch and save
- We strive to always show the most competitive product available
For further information please contact:
PR Manager Financial Services