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Debt can be a real problem

The last fifteen months or so have been a bit crazy. Financially, some people have done well, accumulating additional savings, and others have struggled with money planning, at times getting into, or falling further into debt.


We note below some of the statistics that a UK charity has recently published.


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The Money Charity has been producing a monthly summary of the UK’s money situation since 2005. There are some fascinating statistics in these summaries, and I have picked a few below. More details can be found on their website here: https://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/


  • At the end of March 2021, people in the UK owed £1,712.9 billion. This is up by £27.1 billion at the end of March 2020 – an extra £511 per UK adult over the year.

  • The average total debt per household, including mortgages, was £61,435. Per adult, that’s £32,326, or around 110.3% of average earnings.

  • Outstanding credit card debt came to £54.2 billion at the end of March 2021, a decrease of 21.7% in the year. Credit card debt averaged £1,945 per household and £1,023 per adult.

  • A credit card on the average interest would take 24 years and 4 months to repay, if only the legal minimum repayments were made each month.

  • Government debt increased by £818 million a day in the year to March 2021.

  • It costs an average of £23.25 per day for a couple to raise a child from birth to the age of 18. For a lone parent family, the cost comes to £28.22 per day.


And talking about being a couple…


Don’t forget the Marriage Allowance. Lower or non-earners may be able to move £1,260 of their income tax personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner to reduce the amount of tax they pay. This could save up to £252 pa in tax in the right circumstances. See the Money Advice Service for more details.


Debt problems


If you are getting into debt which is out of control or unwieldy, make sure you seek advice early! There are great organisations, such as Citizens Advice, Step Change and the Debt Advice Foundation as examples, which can help or signpost you to the right place to help.


It is vital not to ignore the situation if you are struggling with debt – it will only get worse. Debt advisers and charities are there to help, not to judge, and they may be able to suggest ways to deal with your money worries that you might not know about.

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