Figures Reveal Truth Behind the UK Debt Crisis

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Finance.co.uk has conducted a nationwide survey that has found Londoners lead the way in the UKs debt crisis with the North East closely behind.   The survey has found that 21.56% of Londoners admit to purchasing everyday essentials and paying bills using either credit or their overdraft and 20.45% of Londoners typically carry over £1,000 worth of debt from month to month.  41.82% of Londoners admit to carrying over £10,000 worth of debt from month to month and 20% of the people in London believe that they will never be debt free.

Every Day Essentials

The report revealed that over 50% of adults across the UK use an overdraft or credit card to purchase every day essentials such as groceries and household bills. A huge 18.95% said that they borrow funds to make these purchases on a regular basis, showing that a large percentage of the population are dependent on borrowing to pay for their day to day lives.

This figure is even more prominent among young people, with 60% of those aged between 25 and 34 using credit or overdrafts for their daily essentials. When broken down by region, the North East has the highest population of UK adults borrowing money for every day essentials:

Region % of UK adults using credit or an overdraft to pay for daily essentials
North East 60.24%
London 57.99%
Scotland 54.03%
East Anglia 52.63%
South East 50.93%
North West 50.87%
Wales 49.50%
East Midlands 48.92%
Yorkshire and the Humber 48.52%
South West 47.93%
Northern Ireland 46.55%
West Midlands 45.95%

Londoners Lead the Way

The capital city is well known for being a pricy place to live and work, and the survey reveals the extent of the UK debt crisis within London. A shocking 41% of the city’s population are carrying over £10,000 or more worth of debt month to month, and 29% admitted to feeling judged by companies because of the size of their debt.

This is more than double the number of those in Northern Ireland in the same situation, which sits at just 18%. This leader board shows the top regions in the country where residents are carrying over £10,000 or more worth of debt every month:

Region % of UK adults carrying over £10,000 or more worth of debt month to month
London 41.82%
North West 38.60%
Scotland 35.39%
Wales 35%
East Midlands 34.62%
North East 31.82%
South East 31.03%
West Midlands 25%
East Anglia 23.81%
Yorkshire and the Humber 23.33%
South West 23.33%
Northern Ireland 18.18%

Confusing Terms and Conditions

The survey also revealed that nearly 23% of UK adults did not fully understand the terms and conditions associated with the credit they acquired. Not being clear on the terms of a finance agreement is a dangerous situation to be in and can result in individuals finding themselves in further debt or unable to make their repayments.

This situation is largely common among young adults, with 37% of 25 to 34 year olds not fully understanding their credit terms and conditions. This is followed by 27% of 18 to 24 year olds and 26% of 45 to 54 year olds, with over 55 year olds having the clearest understanding as just 12.4% admitted to not fully understanding their credit terms and conditions.

A Debt-Free Future?

With such a high proportion of the UK population in debt, it is hardly a surprise that over one quarter of adults do not think they will ever be completely debt free, and a further 17% claiming that they aren’t sure if they will clear their debts.

The South East is the least optimistic area, with just 51% of adults in the area thinking they will eventually be free of all their debts. Individuals between the ages of 45 and 54 are reported to be the least likely to be totally debt free, with over 30% feeling like they will never clear their debts. More than 60% of those over 55 years of age do believe they will be debt free at some stage in their lives.

These survey results show that the UK debt crisis is well and truly upon us and shows no signs of slowing in the near future, with today’s young people already relying on borrowing for their day to day lives.

Debt is a difficult cycle to break and it is worrying to see that over 28% of 25 to 24 year olds often use an overdraft or credit to pay for everyday outgoings such as bills and groceries, and over 27% carry over £1000 worth of debt every month. Whilst the government makes an emphasis on helping those individuals who are just about managing, it is clear to see that many UK adults are in need of help during the current financial situation.