Brits pay back “staggering” amount of debt

Britons paid off a “staggering” amount of £38.6 billion of debt last year, not including mortgages, new figures have revealed.

Data from Unbiased.co.uk has suggested that UK adults are looking to clear outstanding debts rather than add to their savings in the current climate.

The site found that at the end of 2008, consumers were repaying £1.76 for every pound that they saved.

This was almost double the level being paid back at the beginning of last year, which stood at 66p for every pound.

Spokesperson David Elms remarked: “The financial turmoil which hit Britain last summer prompted a dramatic retreat from savings in favour of starting to pay down personal debt.”

The company noted that 2008 was the first time in the eight-year existence of the survey that Brits paid back more than they borrowed.

It echoed a recent poll from Norwich Union that showed 75 per cent of UK adults have become more “frugal” in the wake of the credit crunch.

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