Household debt is becoming an issue for an increasing number of families in the UK.
The National Debtline is a debt advice service run by The Money Advice Trust, who over the last 10 years have seen a drastic change in the types of debt related problems experienced by their clients. “Traditional” types of financial difficulties, such as loan and overdraft repayments or credit card debts are becoming less common. More and more people are reporting that their monthly bills and small arrears are the causes of serious debt problems.
According to Joanna Elson, the chief executive of the Money Advice Trust:
“In 2007, 69% of callers to National Debtline had problems with loans, overdrafts or credit cards – that figure has since fallen to 42% . In the same period, we have seen a 140% rise in calls about household debts such as gas and electricity, water and telephone bills, and council tax. The big danger here is that for many people, falling behind on these bills does not constitute a debt problem, making it less likely they will seek advice”.
It is estimated by the government’s Money Advice Service that there are approximately 9 million people in the UK that are over-indebted. However, just 17% of those people are seeking advice to help reduce their debts. You can visit the National Debtline website for free debt advice.