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Borrowing levels remain high as relentless squeeze on budgets continues

The Money Advice Trust responds to latest Money and Credit figures

Posted October 31, 2022

The Bank of England has today published its latest Money and Credit figures showing consumer credit grew at 7.2 percent in September 2022, up from 7.1 percent in August 2022.  The annual growth rate of credit card borrowing was 12.1 percent with outstanding balances for consumer credit now standing at £205.8 billion.

Recent research from the charity into the impact of the cost of living on households found that:

  • 15.3 million people (29 percent) say they have had to use credit to pay for essentials – an increase of 2.1 million since March 2022.
  • 5.6 million (10 percent) have had to borrow money from family or friends.
  • Five percent of UK adults said they are currently behind on their mortgage repayment – an increase of 2 percentage points from March this year.

The findings were based on an Opinium survey of 2,000 UK adults, and a comparison of data from polling carried out in March 2022.

Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtlineand Business Debtline, said:

“Households are facing a relentless squeeze on their budgets and today’s figures, which show borrowing levels continue to remain high, reflect the ongoing difficulties many are facing.  

“With incomes for millions of people unable to keep pace with rising costs, increasingly, people are having to turn to credit to cover essential outgoings.  And for people on the lowest incomes the challenges only get harder.  It is now more important than ever that the government commits to raising benefits by inflation and not earnings – and takes a serious look at Universal Credit, to ensure it provides a real safety net for people in difficulty.

“I would encourage anyone worried about their finances to seek free debt advice from a service like National Debtline or Business Debtline as soon as possible.” 

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