How does your household debt compare to the UK average?

So, have you heard about the rising levels of debt in the UK? It's definitely something to be aware of, as it can affect all of us in one way or another. Basically, people and households are taking on more and more borrowing to cover expenses and make purchases. And according to the Office for National Statistics, the average household debt in the UK was £15,400 as of September 2021. That includes all forms of debt, like mortgages, credit card debt, and loans.

One type of debt that’s particularly common in the UK is credit card debt. And as of December 2020, the average credit card debt per person in the UK was £1,276, according to the Bank of England. That might not seem like a lot, but for a lot of people, it can be a significant amount of debt to carry. And high levels of credit card debt can lead to financial difficulties and can really hurt your credit score.

Another type of debt that people in the UK often have is loans. The average amount borrowed per person in the UK was £3,818 as of December 2020, according to the Bank of England. That includes both secured and unsecured loans. People take out loans for all sorts of reasons, like to cover unexpected expenses or to make purchases they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. But taking on too much debt can lead to problems, like difficulty making loan payments and a decrease in your credit score.

In recent years, the use of buy-now pay-later (BNPL) services has been on the rise in the UK. According to the Financial Conduct Authority, the number of active BNPL users in the UK increased from 1.4 million in 2019 to 4.7 million in 2020. This represents a growth of 237% in just one year.

BNPL services allow individuals to make purchases without having to pay upfront. Instead, they can pay for the item in installments over a set period of time. This can be appealing to consumers who may not have the funds available to make a purchase outright. However, there are potential risks associated with using BNPL services. For example, if an individual is unable to make their installment payments, they may face late fees and interest charges, which can add to their overall debt burden.

Additionally, the use of BNPL services can also impact an individual’s credit score. If an individual misses a payment or is late on a payment, it can negatively impact their credit score. This can make it more difficult for them to access credit in the future.

Overall, while BNPL services can be a convenient option for making purchases, it is important for individuals to carefully consider the potential risks and to use them responsibly. It may be helpful to seek financial advice before using BNPL services, to ensure that they will not lead to an increase in overall debt or negatively impact an individual’s credit score.

So what can we do to manage and reduce debt in the UK? Well, the first step is to create a budget and stick to it. This can help you track your spending and figure out where you might be overspending. It can also be really helpful to seek financial advice from a professional. They can give you guidance on how to manage and pay off your debt. And it might be worth looking into options for consolidating or refinancing your debt, to make your payments more manageable.

In short, the UK is dealing with rising levels of debt, and it’s something we should all be aware of. It can lead to financial difficulties and can hurt your credit score. But by creating a budget, seeking financial advice, and exploring options for consolidating or refinancing your debt, you can manage and reduce your debt.

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Amit Kupfer

I am the founder of Social Trading 101. I am a passionate value investor. My investor "heroes" are Bruce c. Greenwald, Peter Lynch, Philip Fisher & Warren Buffett. You can copy my trades on eToro ????


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