You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Two million households miss or default on payments in March

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
In March around 2.5million households, or 8.8% of the population, either missed or defaulted on a payment, according to new data.

This is a higher level than in January and February, which saw levels of 8.2% and 8.1% respectively, which are the months when traditionally finances are usually more strained.

The level reported in March is ‘worryingly high’ according to the data from consumer group Which?.

The group said it is rare for this figure to stay so high for multiple months and it has now remained at around 8% since last September.

The problem is likely to get worse as millions of households will face prices increased in April. Energy, broadband, mobile, water, and council tax bills are among those set to rise.

Broadband bills, for example, are set to rise by more than 14% for millions of customers in April. The cost of energy is also set to get more expensive as although the Energy Price Guarantee will remain in place at £2,500, the Energy Bills Support Scheme is about to end.

Six in 10 of those surveyed by Which? Said they had made at least one adjustment to cover essential spending. This is compared to four in 10 in December 2021.

These adjustments included cutting back one essentials, using savings, selling possessions, or borrowing money.

Consumer confidence recovering

A fifth of consumers said they think the UK economy will get better in the next 12 months while 54% said it would get worse, with a rate of -33 of those who had confidence in the future economy.

This is compared to -68 six months ago and -17 seen before the pandemic.

Which? is calling on essential businesses, including supermarkets and broadband providers, to ensure they are helping people where they can.

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “Our research suggests millions of households are struggling to get their finances on track amid huge pressure on the cost of living. This should set off alarm bells, particularly as painful increases to many essential bills are due to take effect in a matter of days.

“Our findings underline the need for the government and companies in essential sectors – such as supermarkets, energy and telecoms providers – to do everything in their power to support consumers, particularly those struggling financially, through this incredibly difficult time.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Everything you wanted to know about ISAs…but were afraid to ask

The new tax year is less than a fortnight away and for ISA savers or investors, it’s hugely important. If yo...

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week