UK debt crisis forces families to fall out over lending funds

06 November 2007
Britons are owed over £25 billion by family members with more than one in ten grown-up children lending money to their mum and dad.

According to new research from Skipton Building Society, the state of the economy is putting a strain on families and Brits are becoming increasingly financially dependent on their nearest and dearest.

The figures have seen an increase of 82% on the £14 billion that was owed ten years ago. Unsurprisingly, this is causing friction within the family unit with nearly one in five people falling out with loved ones as a result of unpaid debts.

Just over half of Brits have loaned a member of their family money in the last ten years – 11% have lent over £5,000 and a generous 4% have handed over £10,000 in one single payment. And while it is mainly parents loaning their offspring money, a third of children who have lent money off relatives are paying off their own parents’ bills.

However, despite loaning money to family members, many find it hard to not interfere with how the funds are spent - one in 20 of the people questioned claimed to have felt disheartened in the way their money was used and nearly one in 10 said they felt it took too long for them to get the money back with 7 per cent reporting that there had been no attempt to repay them at all.

Feelings of resentment are clearly hard to shake off with 10 per cent of respondents saying they felt taken advantage of and a further 9 per cent admitting they were reluctant lenders in the first place and were pressured into the loan.

Jennifer Holloway, Head of Media Relations at Skipton Building Society, explains: "It's well known that many homebuyers rely on the bank of mum and dad for help purchasing a property, but it seems getting loans from the 'financial family' is extending to other areas, such as for paying bills. This is perfectly understandable when the cost of modern living is rising all the time, but the cost of relationships that suffer as a result should also be considered.”

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