90% of Brits in debt suffer with stress
A study by comparethemarket, the comparison site, found that 45% of Brits are currently in debt (excluding mortgages and student loans), which is an estimated 24.1m individuals across the country.
Breaking down the numbers, comparethemarket found that 25-34-year-olds were most likely to owe money, with 54% of millennials admitting to being in debt. Half of 35-44 year olds surveyed also admitted to having debt.
For those who are in debt, the research found that 48% required the money to cover everyday living expenses, followed by 15% who needed help with housing costs.
It is also worrying to note comparethemarket’s finding that a quarter of Brits did not know how much debt they were in. Meanwhile, one in four of those with a partner surveyed admitted to hiding debt from their other half, with a significant 52% revealing that it had caused arguments in their personal lives.
In addition, nine in 10 of those in debt said they struggled with stress and anxiety as a result, with those aged between 18 and 34 more likely to worry about debt on a daily basis.
Even amongst those who weren’t in debt, 40% of respondents said it remained a source of stress and anxiety.
When it comes to credit cards, a quarter of Brits use them just to get by each month. However, 34% used them to earn cashback, points or air miles, while 24% relied on them for protection on larger purchases.
Check how much debt you’re in
Comparethemarket suggests the first step is to check your bank statement to get an idea of the amounts you pay in direct debit towards your debts. Make a note of the company names and categorise the type of debt and its value.
You can then head to some online credit score providers which can show the full extent of how much you owe. Some services may not feature your specific lender, so it’s worth trying a few out to check any differences.
What to do if you are experiencing debt-related stress
For anyone who is suffering with stress or anxiety as a result of debt, there are a number of impartial organisations you can contact who may be able to help:
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk – Money Advice Service
https://www.stepchange.org/ – StepChange – Leading debt charity
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ – Citizens Advice