Virus Impact Putting Pressure on Indebted Brits
September 2, 2020
Some of the financial pressures bearing down on indebted consumers and households across the UK have been highlighted by newly updated personal borrowing data.
The debt help charity StepChange has warned that young people, single parents and people on low incomes are among those most likely to have found their debts getting worse as the virus crisis wore on in recent months.
The charity has said it wants to see proper support being provided to everyone who needs it because so many people are being pushed into tough financial positions by the realities of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re seeing young people, single parents and people already on low-incomes being disproportionately affected – it’s important the government doesn’t leave them even further stranded during the next phase of managing the crisis,” said Peter Tutton from StepChange.
“It’s absolutely vital that we see ongoing support to help people get through the next period, whether they are in employment or not, if we are to avoid entrenching problem debt as a long-term legacy of the pandemic,” he added.
Mr Tutton commented after official Bank of England borrowing data showed that overall household debt levels increased in July by £1.2 billion, after having reduced over the previous four months because people were generally paying off their debts wherever possible.
The concern among debt help charities and other campaign groups is that underlying issues affecting people from a personal finance perspective in 2020 have not yet taken their full toll because they’ve been offset to an extent by policies like debt payment holidays and the government’s coronavirus jobs retention scheme.
According to StepChange, there has been a sizable increase in requests for help with debt problems because of Covid-19, particularly among people who have recently lost their jobs but also among those who remain in full-time employment.
At the same time, it’s clear that more and more people are worried about being made redundant with the charity recording a 1,800 per cent increase in searches for information about redundancy on its website over the course of July as compared with June.