70% of UK adults in debt
Seven in ten UK adults are in debt but many are choosing to ignore the problem instead of seeking help before it gets out of hand.
Research by The Co-operative Bank found that 29 per cent of people refuse to confront their debt problems.
Many do not admit that they are in debt until borrowing on credit cards, overdrafts and loans reaches £1,247, on average.
According to the bank, these people are suffering from ‘DRIP syndrome’, because they Deny they are in debt, Rationalise the reasons for being in debt, Ignore their debt and Postpone dealing with it.
Worryingly the research found that some people resort to gambling or pay day loans in an attempt to get out of debt.
The research also found that 50 per cent of people in the UK have fallen further into debt in the past year, by £325 on average, due to the rising cost of living, including energy and fuel.
Robin Taylor, Head of Banking at The Co-operative Bank, said: “Our research also shows that the ‘debt alarm’ doesn’t go off until people owe more than £1000, which can be a real struggle to pay back.
“Managing your money with steps such as writing a list of incomings and outgoings and regularly checking your bank account will help you get on top of your finances now before problems get any worse.”
The latest figures from the Bank of England show that UK credit card companies wrote off £3.64 billion in bad debts on their customers’ cards in 2011, representing 7 per cent of all outstanding debt on consumers’ credit cards.
However, this was an improvement from 2010, when £5.32 billion in bad debts were written off and from 2009, when bad debts on credit cards totalled £4.12 billion.