After gloomy ONS figures, YouGov finds 69% UK Adults have debt & 27% will not repay

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30 January 2013

While the country waits for the first set of Insolvency Statistics of 2013 to be published, the news of the newly released figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that UK households took on an extra £9bn of credit card and other non-mortgage debt in the two years to 2010 and there are hints that the figures are worse for 2011-2012. Shedding some light on what’s happening from the consumer end, iva.co.uk reveals the results from their independent research which found that 69% of UK adults have experienced debt and 27% do not plan to repay.

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The new research, conducted just before the publish of the new Insolvency Statistics by YouGov on behalf of iva.co.uk, was commissioned to uncover the myths surrounding personal debt and unearth the real reasons that so many UK adults hold debt nowadays compared to previous generations. The impartial survey was conducted by YouGov. The following is a summary of the results which are a representation of all UK adults:

The main cause for the increase in personal debt compared to previous generations;

* 22% think we are all too materially motivated
* 20% feel it’s too easy to borrow money

The reason you first got into debt;

* 24% said that they were living beyond their means
* 18% had had an unexpected expense (e.g. home or car repairs)

The survey also revealed;

* 16% have experienced mental health/health problems due to debt
* 20% expressed that debt has had a significant effect on their happiness
* 22% have never had personal debt
* A total of 69% have experienced debt or have debts currently
* 27% are not currently doing/planning on doing anything in order to resolve their debts.

The perceived ‘normalization’ of debt in the midst of the recession may mean that now a few thousand pounds on a credit card doesn’t feel like a problem and could explain why so many people with personal debts are not planning to repay them. Unfortunately this approach only hinders those in debt as discussed by founder of iva.co.uk, Andy Davie;

‘It’s worrying that people still feel the need to overspend and that so many people have incurred debts throughout their life time, but far more worrying to me is the attitude of some who aren’t displaying responsible management of their debts by having no plans to repay them. One thing I’ve learnt the hard way is that the key to debt prevention and cure is control. To prevent debt you need to keep a close eye on your money them and make sure you’re budgeting, if you have debt you must stay in control and keep making payments, if things spiral and you find yourself not managing, the most important thing you can do is regain control which can be done by entering into a debt management plan or IVA or even by budgeting more carefully. I completed my own IVA some years ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. If things are getting out of your control then seek help and advice, it’s out there, it’s free and it can change your life!’

‘It will be interesting to see the new Insolvency Statistics to see whether Christmas and other factors have impacted the figures, however, I don’t expect figures to have shortened ’

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