Christmas could hamper 3.4 million already struggling to balance debts

23 November 2007
New research from MoneyExpert.com reveals that there are increasing concerns among UK adults over debt management, with more than one in ten claiming to be "very concerned" about their borrowings. The comparison website claims that 3.4 million people may be struggling to cope with debts.

The proportion of people claiming to be "very concerned" about debt levels has increased from seven per cent three months ago to 11 per cent. "And with the festive season just around the corner, we can only predict that the number of people worried about their ability to deal with their debts is likely to increase," said chief executive, Sean Gardner.

The MoneyExpert.com Debt Index, which examines how people with mortgages, loans and credit cards are managing borrowings, reveals that approximately one in four adults has increased borrowings in the last three months. For 2.7 million people (9 per cent), debt levels have risen by more than 10 per cent. This has been linked to rising interest rates, which have increased five times since August 2006.

"On the plus side many people have found ways to reduce their borrowing, with some making significant dents into their debts," said Mr Gardner. Those reporting to be "unconcerned" or "very unconcerned" about debts was fairly flat at approximately 12.7 million people (41 per cent). And, although 26 per cent of people with debts have seen debts rise in the last three months, 27 per cent have actually seen a reduction. Figures show that more than two million people (7 per cent) cut debts by more than 20 per cent.

"Anyone who is worried that they are struggling to keep on top of their debts is heading for serious trouble if they do not take action now. It’s not too late to sort out your problems before Christmas arrives," Mr Gardner advised.

He added: "There are many ways for people to get their finances under control. Whether you need to consolidate your debts with a loan or just juggle your borrowing onto cheaper products, the important thing is to work out a repayment plan and not bury your head in the sand."

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