William Eichler 20 September 2017

One in six people live with ‘problem debt’

Over eight million people in the UK are living with ‘problem debt’, warns advice service.

This year’s annual report from the Money Advice Service and CACI revealed that 8.3 million (15.9%) people in the UK are living with a debt problem – the figures show a moderate increase from figures released in 2016 (15.4%).

The report defines those living with problem debt — ‘over-indebted individuals’ — as those who are likely to find meeting monthly bills a ‘heavy burden' and/or those missing more than three bill payments within a six-month period.

Newham in East London are estimated to have higher levels of over-indebtedness compared to anywhere else in the UK. This was followed by Tower Hamlets, London (22.7%) and Sandwell, West Midlands (22.1%).

People in East Dorset (9.7%), Mole Valley, Surrey (9.9%) and Chiltern, Buckinghamshire (9.9%) are reported to have the lowest proportion of over-indebted residents in the UK.

The top two over-indebted regions in the UK are the North East (17.7%) and Wales (17.7%), followed closely by London (17.2%) and the North West (16.9%).

‘This research tells us that one in six people in the UK have financial worries, a figure that stands at over 8.3 million,’ said Sheila Wheeler, director of debt at the Money Advice Service.

‘Debt is a complex challenge and one that needs a collaborative approach if we are to successfully address it.’

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