debt help
Europe Feature Stories Fintech for Good Insights

Cost-Of-Living Crisis Drives Searches for Debt Help Across the UK

MoneySuperMarket, the price comparison website, has published its findings on Brits’ awareness of debt help. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, many are finding themselves to be struggling financially. However, few are aware of the support that is available to them. 

In addition to the surveys uncovering reasons for debt and awareness of help, MoneySuperMarket also analysed Google Keyword Planner data. It revealed where in the UK the most online searches for debt help are being made. The 35 most populous cities and towns were analysed with Leeds, Manchester and Bradford occupying the top three places on the list.

RankingLocation Debt help’ search volume per 100,000 people (Sep 21-Aug 22)
1Leeds560
2Manchester511
3Bradford200
4Birmingham192
5Norwich183
6Derby163
7Northampton162
8Kingston Upon Hull159
9Glasgow157
10Dudley156

 

With the cost of living crisis, increased household debt is a real worry for many. By the end of April 2022, The Money Charity revealed that per adult the average total unsecured debt was £3,817.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, UK households will spend £83billion in servicing debts (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans) in 2023-24. This has increased from 52 per cent the previous year.

How aware are Brits about debt help?

MoneySuperMarket surveyed 2,000 Brits to see how many people understand what options and advice are available to them to help with debt worries.

  • Eleven per cent surveyed said they ‘didn’t know where to start’ when it came to looking at what was available.
  • Eighteen per cent surveyed understood where they could go for help and stated that they were aware of the options available to alleviate their debt.
  • Nine per cent of women stated they were aware where to get advice and help for debt, compared to six per cent of men.

MoneySuperMarket carried out a second survey of 2,000 adults to understand some of the reasons people are finding themselves in debt. Respondents wexre able to select multiple answers.

One in five (19 per cent) surveyed said the ‘general rise in living costs’ was the reason for their debt.

Consumer prices have increased by 9.9 per cent in August 2022, compared to the previous year, with energy, fuel, food and clothing prices all impacted.

One in six surveyed said energy bills are one of the reasons they are struggling

In its survey, 16 per cent of MoneySuperMarekt’s respondents highlighted that energy bills are the reason they are in debt.

Research by MoneySuperMarket in August 2022 revealed that 15 per cent were already borrowing from a payday lender to pay their energy bills, rising to 22 per cent among 18-24 year olds. 16 per cent of Brits said they had turned to family and friends to borrow money for energy bills.

Six per cent of Brits surveyed said they are ignoring their debt. But, doing so could lead them to further financial issues, particularly if their debts continue to grow.

Not all hope should be lost. In addition to financial services being able to help the members of public suffering, those affected can be doing things to help themselves too.  

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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