Personal debt exceeds GDP for first time

The amount of personal debt in Britain has exceeded the projected gross domestic product for the first-time ever.

Borrowing in the form of personal loans, current account overdrafts and credit card spending stands at more than £1,345 billion, according to a report by consultancy firm Grant Thornton.

However, around 85 per cent of that amount is secured against some form of property, which Stephen Gifford, Grant Thornton’s chief economist, says we should be thankful for.

He remarked that it is fortunate that most consumer debt “is secured and can be repaid over several years, otherwise we would be technically bankrupt”.

“Britain’s huge level of consumer debt is symptomatic of the country’s well-established buy-now-pay-later culture – we can no longer generate enough GDP to cover the amount we owe,” he added.

Meanwhile, debt advisory service Debt Free Direct has warned that lenders are beginning to take a tougher attitude towards Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) as they seek to regain as much of their lending as possible.

© Adfero Ltd

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