Latest: Debt News

Government to outsource tax credit debt collection

Government to outsource tax credit debt collection

Government plans to outsource the collection of tax credit overpayments has raised alarm among campaigners. A pilot scheme will be launched, with private companies appointed to collect overpayments. These can often occur when a claimant’s income increases – when they move to a better paid job, for example. Claimants should report a change in their […]

December 6, 2012 More
Households struggling with debt

Households struggling with debt

Nearly a third of people surveyed by consumer group Which? said they are struggling to manage financially, and the situation could worsen if further benefit cuts are announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week. Which? surveyed 2,100 people in October and found that nearly 10 per cent of the 25 million households in the […]

December 3, 2012 More
Consumers reduced debts in October

Consumers reduced debts in October

Consumers focused on repaying personal loans and overdrafts in October according to the British Bankers Association. Continuing concern about economic conditions prompted consumers to make a net repayment of £207 million of unsecured debt, while lending to companies increased slightly. The fall in consumer confidence was reflected in a fall in retail sales during the […]

November 23, 2012 More
Five million paid less than living wage

Five million paid less than living wage

Five million people in the UK are paid less than the ‘living wage’ of £7.20, or £8.30 in London, according to a new report by KPMG. In Northern Ireland, 24 per cent of workers receive less than they require in order to pay for essentials and the situation is little better in Wales where 23 […]

October 29, 2012 More
Government to legislate on uncollected debt

Government to legislate on uncollected debt

The Government is planning to introduce new laws allowing its departments to share information on individuals and companies that owe them money. The proposal follows a review by the Cabinet Office’s Fraud, Error and Debt taskforce. Around £20 billion is owed to the Government and more than £7 billion is lost each year through unpaid […]

October 17, 2012 More
Personal insolvencies fall despite the recession

Personal insolvencies fall despite the recession

The number of personal insolvencies in England and Wales fell to 27,390 in the second quarter of 2012, a year-on-year fall of 10.2 per cent and the lowest figure since 2008. The 2012 second quarter figures, released by the Insolvency Service today, are an improvement on those for the first quarter when the number of […]

August 3, 2012 More
Rising cost of living hits families hard

Rising cost of living hits families hard

A new study suggests that a family with two children now needs to earn £36,800 a year in order to achieve a “socially acceptable” standard of living. A quarter of the UK population now live below the minimum income standard (MIS), an increase of three million since 2008. The MIS study, which was commissioned by […]

July 10, 2012 More
Bank of England reports increase in personal debt

Bank of England reports increase in personal debt

Bank of England figures for May show an increase in consumer debt, with new unsecured borrowing £732m higher than repayments. This represents a substantial increase from the average of the past six months of £403m. Borrowing through loans and overdrafts increased sharply in May according to the Bank’s figures. However credit card borrowing increased by […]

July 3, 2012 More
Catalogue customers warned to avoid debt spiral

Catalogue customers warned to avoid debt spiral

With household incomes stretched to breaking point many consumers are turning to catalogues to spread the cost of goods such as clothes and furniture, but this could lead to a spiral of debt, a debt charity warns. The Money Advice Trust is receiving around 100 calls a day about catalogue debts, more than it receives […]

June 26, 2012 More
Catalogue debt growing says helpline

Catalogue debt growing says helpline

Calls from people concerned about their debts with mail order catalogues accounted for more than 12 per cent of all calls received by National Debtline last year, compared with just 8 per cent in 2007. More people were concerned about catalogue debt than about payday loans, mortgage or rent, according to the Money Advice Trust […]

May 23, 2012 More
400,000 more English homes in fuel poverty

400,000 more English homes in fuel poverty

An increase in the price of gas and electricity price at the end of 2011 is estimated to have pushed 400,000 more homes in England into fuel poverty, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The new projections show that 3.9 million homes in England were in fuel poverty at the end […]

May 17, 2012 More
Personal debt soared prior to credit crunch

Personal debt soared prior to credit crunch

Household borrowing soared in the decade leading up to the start of the financial crisis in 2008 according to a report by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and the Resolution Foundation. Household spending, GDP and property prices all increased steadily between 1997 and 2007 but the report suggests that this growth […]

May 15, 2012 More
Fall in bankruptcies hides rise in personal debt

Fall in bankruptcies hides rise in personal debt

There was a fall in the number of people going bankrupt in the first quarter of 2012 but more people are experiencing debt problems and many are simply unable to afford the £700 bankruptcy fee. According to the latest figures from the Insolvency Service, 28,723 individuals in England and Wales became insolvent in the first […]

May 4, 2012 More
Household finances continue to deteriorate

Household finances continue to deteriorate

Lower earnings, increased levels of debt and inflation worries took their toll on household finances in April, with the Markit Household Finance Index falling for the second month in a row. The Index fell at the steepest rate for three months to 37.0 in April from 37.8 in March, with a score under 50 indicating […]

April 23, 2012 More
Mothers accumulate debt on maternity leave

Mothers accumulate debt on maternity leave

Three quarters of mums are unprepared for a fall in income while they are on maternity leave and nearly a third go into debt. A study by price comparison site uSwitch.com suggests that the average debt accumulated by mothers while they are on maternity leave is nearly £2,500. As well as facing a 50 per […]

April 20, 2012 More
Debt not serious until it hits £14,000

Debt not serious until it hits £14,000

Brits don’t consider themselves in serious debt until they owe more than £14,416 according to insurance company Bright Grey. Although this may sound excessive, it reflect a significant improvement from a year ago when £15,837 was the point at which people started to consider them themselves in serious financial difficulty. Bright Grey’s ‘financial safety net’ […]

April 17, 2012 More
Energy firms to reveal their best deals

Energy firms to reveal their best deals

The UK’s six largest energy companies will be required to write to their customers each year telling them if their current tariff is the cheapest one which meets their needs. Vulnerable customers, including pensioners and those eligible for assistance from the warm home discount scheme, will be contacted twice a year. The news, announced by […]

April 11, 2012 More
OFT updates guidelines for debt management firms

OFT updates guidelines for debt management firms

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has today published new guidelines for firms offering debt management advice or credit repair services to consumers. Complaints about debt management firms have increased significantly in recent years; 546 complaints were made to the Financial Ombudsman Service last year compared with 463 in 2010. The complaints included concern over […]

March 22, 2012 More
Debt repayment increasingly difficult says CCCS

Debt repayment increasingly difficult says CCCS

Although households reduced their debts last year they face a ‘tide’ of difficulties in repaying them, according to a study by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS). The study of 370,000 cases handled by the counselling service suggests that youth unemployment and rising rents are key factors which cause people to fall into debt. 42% […]

March 15, 2012 More
Saga sees financial green shoots for over-50s

Saga sees financial green shoots for over-50s

Saga’s latest quarterly report is slightly more optimistic about the financial health of the over 50s than its report for the final quarter of 2011, but the organisation warns that the “green shoots” of recovery are very tentative at the moment. Compared with a year ago, the report suggests that the quality of life for […]

March 5, 2012 More