Household Debts Up to Highest Ever Levels, Average Over £15,000

January 8, 2019

The scale of unsecured debt held by households across the UK has never been higher and now stands at an average of £15,385, according to the latest data.

Once mortgages are taken out of the equation, consumers across the country are understood to be in a collective total of £428 billion worth of debt.

The figures are based on assessments of official data carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which has called the situation regarding household debts as a “crisis” for the country and a serious problem for the national economy.

“Household debt is at crisis level. Years of austerity and wage stagnation has pushed millions of families deep into the red,” said Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, in a statement.

“Our economy is not working for workers. They need stronger rights and bargaining powers. Trade unions should be allowed the freedom to enter every workplace to negotiate higher wages,” she added.

The TUC has suggested that wage stagnation in general and particularly a lack of public sector pay rises in recent years has left a growing number of people unable to avoid falling deeper and deeper into debt.

The collective total of unsecured debts held by UK consumers was estimated to be worth £286 billion in 2008, which is well below the figure of £428 billion reported at the end of last year.

The average household debt level rose by £886 over the course of last year, according to the TUC.

For the purposes of its recent report on the subject, the trade union body took unsecured debts to include payday loans, credit card and store card debt, student loans, purchase loans and bank loans but not mortgages.

Research carried out recently by the price comparison website MoneySuperMarket suggested that roughly one in 10 people who are in debt across the UK feel that they will never be able to get out of the red.

The same study found that a majority of debtors throughout the country feel that it would take them at least three years to become debt free.

Joanne Wright

Head Adviser at our Manchester Office

Tel: 0800 001 4247

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