Over one in ten ëvery concernedí about debts

The number of adults who are very concerned about their ability to manage their debts has risen to over one in every ten people who owe money, new research from MoneyExpert.com reveals.

The independent financial comparison website says that amounts to as many as 3.4 million2 people who might not be able to keep on top of their borrowing.

And the proportion of people claiming to be ëvery concernedí about the money they owe has risen from 7 per cent three months ago to 11 per cent now.

The MoneyExpert.com Debt Index measures how well people with personal debt ñ including mortgages, loans and credit cards ñ are coping with their borrowing and monitors whether levels of indebtedness are rising or falling.

The latest figures show around one in four adults with debts have increased their borrowing in the past three months as people continue to feel the pinch of recent interest rate rises. Some 2.7 million people (9%) claim to have gone further into debt by over 10 per cent.

However the number of people who are either unconcerned or very unconcerned about being in debt remained broadly the same ñ around 12.7 million people (41%) are not worried about their ability to cope despite being in debt.

And while 26 per cent of people with debts have increased the amount they have borrowed over the past three months, a similar proportion (27%) has successfully cut the amounts they owe. Over two million people (7%) with debts reduced their borrowing by over 20 per cent, the MoneyExpert.com figures show.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: ìOver three million people are very concerned about keeping on top of their debts ñ a figure that has risen significantly in only three months.

ìAnd 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. Christmas is a massively expensive time of year so you canít help but worry that many more are likely to become increasingly concerned about how theyíll cope.

ìOn the plus side many people have found ways to reduce their borrowing, with some making significant dents into their debts. So while itís crucial that those in need receive help, itís worth pointing out that there are lots of people who have their debts well under control.

ìAnyone 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. Itís not too late to sort out your problems before Christmas arrives.

ìThere 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.”

The table below shows how many people are worried about their debt

How concerned are you about your ability to manage your debts? % of GB adults with debt MoneyExpert.com Debt Index Q2 (October) % change from MoneyExpert.com Debt Index Q1 (July)
Very Concerned 11% + 4%
Concerned 25% +1%
Neither concerned nor unconcerned 23% -5%
Unconcerned 24% +1%
Very unconcerned 17% No Change

MoneyExpert.com offers a unique service which enables people to find the financial products which best meet their specific needs, and which they are more likely to be successful in being accepted for. It includes exclusive research conducted by MORI, which reveals providersí service levels. This information is married up with a financial database which lists the products suited to the customer. For the first time, people can review a productís price, features and also the level of service offered by the provider to enable them to make a more informed choice.

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