Serious debt only starts at £14,416
Britons only see themselves in serious financial difficulty once they are in £14,416 worth of debt according to Bright Grey's latest financial safety net report.
Such vast levels of debt show how our attitude to debt has spiralled out of control. But there is some optimism that debt tolerance has been pegged back slightly by £1,421 since 2010, when Britons considered themselves in dire straits once they reached £15,837 of debt.
Middle aged Britons, aged 35-54, have an even larger ‘debt threshold', according to the report, as they believe they would have to be in more than £15,590 of debt before finding themselves in serious financial difficulty.
Those living in the West Midlands have gone from having the highest regional ‘debt threshold' of £17,118 in 2010 to the lowest this year, £12,360, a shift of nearly £5000.
Roger Edwards, proposition director at Bright Grey: "In the past 12 months, Britons are sitting up and taking greater notice of the wider economic environment. People are more wary about getting themselves into serious levels of personal debt, yet over £14,000 is still clearly a cause for concern. Attitudes are moving in the right direction but there needs to be a sizable shift. As a result, we need to keep control of our finances so we have contingency plans in place if we urgently need access to cash."
Despite this general increased financial consciousness, Britons are still not protecting their own and their families' futures.
Roger Edwards continued: "People are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of high debt yet are still failing take out adequate protection. Britons need to make financial provisions for their future and not live under the hope that state benefits or bail outs from family and friends will allow them to maintain their standard of living if they lost their income. Protection products are cheaper than ever and it is crucial that people recognise the significance of putting an appropriate financial safety net in place."