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The latest news on consumer debt:

March 1, 2012

70% of UK adults in debt

by Jan Harris
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 ...




February 27, 2012

UK households falling deeper into debt

by Jan Harris
UK households falling deeper into debt
UK households will find it increasingly difficult to service their debts in the coming years, according to a report by debt charity, Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS). According to the charity’s research, an average of more than 23 per cent of households’ disposable income went towards interest payments on loans at the end of 2011. Although interest payments fell by £2 per week ...




February 17, 2012

Netmums says families in financial crisis

by Jan Harris
Netmums says families in financial crisis
The economic downturn, the rising cost of living and the government’s austerity programme have pushed over 70 per cent of UK families to the brink of poverty, according to online parenting organisation Netmums. The organisation surveyed over 2,000 of its members this month to find out how they are coping in the economic downturn and the findings are startling. Twenty per ...




February 9, 2012

Monthly pay lasting just 17 days

by Jan Harris
Monthly pay lasting just 17 days
Workers are running out of money just 17 days after receiving their monthly pay, according to new research by the Halifax bank. This means that the average UK worker spends half the month worrying about money. The study, based on the responses of more than 2,000 adults, found that 10 per cent of workers start feeling the pinch just one week ...




February 7, 2012

More women experiencing debt difficulties

by Jan Harris
More women experiencing debt difficulties
Women in Debt, which offers female-focused debt advice, has warned that the number of UK women facing serious debt has grown significantly over recent years. The organisation believes that more women will need advice on solving debt problems in the future because they are building up an unsustainable level of indebtedness. Women in Debt’s director, Georgina Earle, said: "Females have fought for ...




February 3, 2012

Fewer people declared bankrupt in 2011

by Jan Harris
Fewer people declared bankrupt in 2011
The number of people declared insolvent in 2011 in England and Wales declined to 119,850, the lowest level for three years and a fall of 11.3 per cent from a record high in 2010. There was a sharp decline at the end of 2011, when personal insolvencies fell by 5.6% compared with the last three months of 2010, according to the ...




January 31, 2012

Personal debt falls by £377 million

by Jan Harris
Personal debt falls by £377 million
Economic uncertainty and the threat of another recession is causing consumers to take charge of their finances and cut back on debt according to the latest figures from the Bank of England. Personal debt, excluding mortgages, fell by £377 million in December, the biggest fall since records began. Howard Archer an economist at Global Insight said: “Consumer desire to get a ...




January 26, 2012

Debt soars for UK families

by Jan Harris
Debt soars for UK families
The rising cost of essentials such as fuel and food has contributed to a 48 per cent increase in the level of personal debt, according to the latest Aviva Family Finances Report. The average British family now owes around £7,944 in unsecured borrowing, compared with £5,360 a year ago, despite a 7 per cent increase in a typical family’s monthly net income to ...




January 23, 2012

More UK households cutting back on spending

by Jan Harris
More UK households cutting back on spending
Nearly one third of adults in the UK expect to spend less in 2012 compared with around a fifth in October, according to the Resolution Foundation, an independent research and policy organisation which aims to improve outcomes for people on limited income. The survey, which was carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the think tank, suggests that people ...




January 13, 2012

One person per minute declared bankrupt

by Jan Harris
One person per minute declared bankrupt
National money education charity Credit Action today revealed that one person is declared insolvent or bankrupt every 60 seconds during the working week. Based on statistics gathered in the third quarter of 2011, the charity estimates that 331 people are made insolvent or bankrupt every working day and 101 properties are repossessed every day. The current high level of unemployment is ...




January 4, 2012

Austerity plans will hit families hardest

by Jan Harris
Austerity plans will hit families hardest
The Family and Parenting Institute (FPI) today warned that families with children will be worst affected by the Government’s proposed changes to tax and benefits. A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on behalf of the FPI suggests that the average income of families with children will fall by 4.2 per cent by 2015-16, representing a loss of £1,250 ...




December 13, 2011

OFT clamps down on payday lenders

by Jan Harris
OFT clamps down on payday lenders
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is increasing its scrutiny of payday loan companies after the number of complaints about them soared. In a report to the Government, the OFT revealed that the number of complaints received by helpline Consumer Direct about payday loan companies more than doubled to 1,535 in the 11 months to November. In 2010, the number ...




December 12, 2011

Shoppers risk financial security for Christmas

by Jan Harris
Shoppers risk finances for Christmas
Although stores have been forced to start their sales early this year to persuade shoppers to part with their money, nearly a third of people in the UK will go into debt over Christmas. Fifty-eight percent of this group will put more spending than usual on credit cards and thirty-nine per cent will go overdrawn to fund Christmas according to a survey ...




December 7, 2011

Payday loans creating Zombie debtors

by Jan Harris
Payday loans creating Zombie debtors
High levels of interest on payday loans are helping to create ‘Zombie’ debtors – people who can only afford to pay the interest on their debts each month and not the debts themselves. Based on a study of 2,000 adults, insolvency trade body R3 suggests that around 45 per cent of the population struggle to make their income last until payday and ...




December 2, 2011

UK carers struggling to make ends meet

by Jan Harris
UK carers struggling to make ends meet
Around half of the 6.4 million unpaid carers in the UK are suffering ill-health because of money worries according to Carers UK. A survey of 4250 unpaid carers found that 40 per cent of respondents had fallen into debt because of their caring responsibilities, and 86 per cent of carers in debt suffered mental health problems. The survey, which ...




November 30, 2011

Consumer credit flat – money supply falls

by Jan Harris
Consumer credit flat - money supply falls
The economic crisis is making consumers wary of taking on more debt, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England. The amount of consumer credit totalled £0.9 billion in October, the same as for the previous month, and only slightly higher than the six month average of £0.8 billion, suggesting that pressure on High Street sales will continue. ...




November 22, 2011

Government fails to tackle loan sharks

by Jan Harris
Government fails to tackle loan sharks
The Government’s failure to act against legal loan sharks yesterday has angered pressure groups. As part of its review on consumer credit, the Government announced a voluntary deal for High Street stores to stop offering discounts to tempt customers to sign up for store cards. However, it failed to cap the interest rate charged on store cards, which can be as high ...




November 21, 2011

Government looks into bank accounts for bankrupts

by Jan Harris
Government looks into bank accounts for bankrupts
Although people who have been made bankrupt are legally allowed to hold a bank account, in practice most banks refuse to allow an undischarged bankrupt to open one. This reluctance is because of the risk that a trustee could pursue the bank for loss of money following a bankruptcy. However, the lack of a back account can make life very difficult ...




November 17, 2011

Families owe half of annual income

by Jan Harris
Families owe half of annual income
Insurance company Aviva has revealed that over half of UK families have unsecured debts amounting to half their annual income. With food, transport and energy costs soaring, fifty-two per cent of UK families owe £10,604 on average, on loans, credit cards, overdrafts and other unsecured debts. This represents nearly half the annual household income of £23,796, according to Aviva's Family Finances ...




November 16, 2011

Campaigns launched as energy debts soar

by Jan Harris
Campaigns launched as energy debts soar
With an increasing number of people in debt to their electricity and gas providers, Consumer Focus and Citizens Advice have launched a ‘Plug the Debt’ campaign. A total of 1.5 million people are believed to be in debt in the UK and figures for spring this year show a 25 per cent increase in the number of people with electricity debts ...