More than 2.48 million are very concerned about debts

  • One in four adults have taken on more debt in past three months
  • Debt Index will monitor UK’s debt attitudes

More than 2.48 million adults (7%) are very concerned about their ability to keep on top of their debts as recent interest rate rises start to hit home, new research* from reveals.

And one in four adults with debts (25%) have increased the amount they owe in the past three months as they struggle to juggle their borrowing burden in response to rate rises. Around seven per cent have increased their borrowing by 20 per cent or more, the independent financial comparison website’s figures show. has launched a Debt Index which will measure how well – or badly – people in debt are coping with their borrowing and monitor whether levels of indebtedness are rising – or falling. The index will run every three months.

The first index launched today shows seven per cent of adults – or 2.48 million people – are "very concerned" about their ability to manage debt while another 24 per cent are concerned. However 40 per cent are either unconcerned or very unconcerned.

And while 25 per cent have increased the amount of personal debt – including mortgages, loans and credit cards – over the past three months 65 per cent have either not increased personal debts or cut the amounts they owe.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of, said: "With more than 2.48 million very concerned about keeping on top of their debts it is clear that there is a serious crisis brewing.

"Anyone who is very concerned about their ability to keep on top of their debts is heading for serious trouble if they do not take action now.

"The financial squeeze is on after the Bank of England boosting interest rates five times in a year and people need to adjust to the idea that borrowing money is going to be more expensive for the foreseeable future.

"There are however plenty of ways for people to get their debts under control from consolidating their borrowing to using the equity in their home through a secured loan. It is important that people act and do not bury their heads in the sand." research shows 23 per cent of people are debt-free and around 40 per cent of people are unconcerned or very unconcerned about their ability to manage their debts.

The table below shows how many people owe money to different sources

Source of Debt Percentage who owe Number of People
Mortgage 41 % 18.98 million
Credit Cards 47 % 21.76 million
Unsecured Personal Loan 29 % 13.42 million
Secured Loan 5 % 2.31 million
Overdraft 25 % 11.57 million
Money owed to Family/Friends 7 % 3.24 million

Around 10 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds are very concerned about their ability to manage their debts compared to the national average of seven per cent. People in the North of England are more likely to be very concerned about debt management.

What are the next steps?

  • Use MoneyExpert’s Consolidation Calculator and see how much you could save
  • If you’re a homeowner and have a large debt to consolidate – apply for a Homeowner Loan quote
  • Tenants or if you’ve under £25,000 to consolidate – Compare Personal Loans
  • Use a 0% balance transfer credit card to consolidate small debts

*YouGov interviewed 2,015 GB adults (18+) between 23rd and 25th July 2007

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