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Brits owe more in personal debt than they make in a year

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08/08/2012
The average UK adult owes nearly £30k, a whopping 121% of the nation's average earnings.

Britons owe £1.458tn in personal debt, up nearly 0.55% on this time last year, according to Credit Action.

The average amount owed per UK adult (including mortgages) was £29,687 in June. This was around 121% of average earnings.

According to the personal finance education charity, individuals owed nearly as much as the entire country produced during the whole of 2011. The nation’s personal debt levels stood at £1.450tn in the same period in 2011.

However, the average household debt in the UK, including mortgages, was £55,448 in June this year, a fraction down from the estimated level in May 2012.

Household debt not including mortgages stood at £7.854 in the same period.

Outstanding secured lending stood at £1.252tn at the end of June 2012, with unsecured lending at £207bn.

Michelle Highman, CEO of Credit Action Says: “There are some interesting trends reflected in this month’s debt stats. Whilst unsecured debt continues to be erratic, we have seen a steady downward trend of credit card debts for the last year and beyond.

“This seems to suggest that people are still taking on more unsecured debt, but perhaps not through traditional methods such as credit cards. It looks like people might be prioritising paying off their credit cards, whilst shopping around for the greater variety of credit products now available.

“Depending on the options available to them as individuals, this may or may not be a good thing. Make sure you are aware of the different products available to you before you take out credit.

“And ensure you know what interest rates (APR), penalty charges and loan periods apply to the product for example. Taking informed choices about your credit is always a positive move. “

Of the 11.3m households that carry mortgage debt, the average outstanding mortgage debts stood at £111,196 in June. Credit Action calculates that to the equivalent to £174m per day.

This means that UK households would have paid an average of £2,417 in annual interest repayments.

The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that total household debt will reach £2.044tn in the next 5 years.

This will mean that average household debt would reach £77,719, if the number of households in the UK remains the same.

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