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6.5 million adults in the UK worry about their debt all or most of the time

9th August 2016 Print

9 million UK adults think that they have a debt problem, according to new figures released by Debt Advisory Centre. Of those, nearly three quarters say that they worry about their debt all or most of the time, with sleep being most affected area.

Overall almost 1 in 5 people (18%) diagnose themselves as “having a debt problem”.  A third say that they worry about it all the time (35%) and a further third (36%) say that worry about their debts most of the time.  Just 5% of people with debts say that they don’t worry about it.

The research also highlighted the toll that debt takes on people’s lives.  Over half (56%) of the 9m people who say they have a debt problem say that their sleep is disrupted as a result.

Other negative impacts reported include:

ability to enjoy life has suffered 55%

mental health has suffered 53%

relationship with my partner has suffered 31%

physical health has suffered 30%

relationship with my family has suffered 22%

friendships have suffered 15%

Debt Advisory Centre’s tips to (try to) worry less about debt

1. Don’t ignore it – take action. Ignoring a debt problem doesn’t mean it will go away – in fact it could get worse.  If you miss debt repayments you lenders may add additional interest and charges to what you owe. 

2. Take control. If you feel able to, speak to your lenders and tell them you are in financial difficulty. 3. 3. Let them know what you can afford to repay and ask them to freeze further interest and charges.

4. Speak to a debt advisor. Discuss your options with an expert debt advisor – there are a number of debt solutions available and they can recommend the one most suitable for you and your circumstances. A debt advisor will also be able to help you set a realistic budget and go through your incomings and outgoings.

5. Don’t bottle it up – share your problem with your partner, friend or family member. Keeping your debts secret will only add to the stress.  Talking the problem through with loved ones will help relieve it.

Debt expert, Melanie Taylor of Debt Advisory Centre said: “There are many different figures for the number of over-indebted people. We took the simple approach of asking people if they thought they had a problem with debt – and we were shocked to find 1 in 5 people say that they do.

“Debt isn’t just a financial crisis – it impacts almost every part of people’s lives, from their health to their relationships.

“The best way to deal with debt is to talk about it – debt advisors won’t judge you but they can help find a solution.  Customers tell us that they feel better after just one conversation with an advisor.

“Similarly too many people keep their debt worries hidden from their family, they are often afraid that they’ll think less of them because they’ve got into financial difficulty.  In our experience the opposite is true – loved ones are supportive and help ease the emotional burden of living with debt.”