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Are you starting the New Year in debt? Data reveals that men have more than twice the debt of women


By David G Scott

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Average personal debt in the UK has more than doubled in the last 12 months to over £25,000 per person, new data has revealed.

Personal finances continue to suffer under the strain of Covid-19, with the ongoing pandemic and recent increase in living expenses causing the average UK personal debt to more than double in the space of just 12 months.

The figures have been revealed in money.co.uk’s annual debt index, following extensive research by the comparison site into household debt across the UK.

Family struggling to pay utility bills and rent for their house.
Family struggling to pay utility bills and rent for their house.

Experts say the drastic increase in 2021 is due largely to the ongoing strain of Covid-19, in addition to a recent increase in living expenses.

Key findings within the report include:

  • The average amount of personal debt in 2021 is £25,879 – more than double the figure in 2020 (£9,246)
  • Around six in ten (59.7 per cent) consumers admitted to being in debt right now
  • Almost a third (31.74 per cent) of debt incurred this year has been due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Men (£35,013) have more the twice the average debt of women (£14,911)

Around six in ten (59.7 per cent ) consumers admitted to being in debt right now, not counting mortgages, with the average amount owed in the UK in 2021 coming in at £25,879 per person – more than double the figure in 2020 (£9,246).

Almost a third (32.24 per cent ) of debt incurred this year has been due to living expenses such as bills and food, down from 35 per cent last year, while the coronavirus pandemic accounted for another 31.74 per cent , down from 36 per cent in 2020.

The sad senior woman at home and examines gas bill. She is under stress when checking accounts.
The sad senior woman at home and examines gas bill. She is under stress when checking accounts.

Notably, the number of people citing redundancy as a result of coronavirus as the reason for their debt has jumped from 7.8 per cent last year, to 9.72 per cent in 2021, which is a possible outcome of the furlough scheme coming to an end on September 30.

The data reveals that men (£35,013) have more than twice the debt of women (£14,911), while Brits aged between 35-44 have more debt than any other age group, averaging £53,283 per person.

According to the figures, Covid-19 continues to account for a large amount of personal debt, with the average Brit attributing £19,203 of their deficit to loss of earnings as a result of the pandemic.

When it comes to alternative causes of debt, almost two thirds of people (63.98 per cent ) blamed living expenses and the pandemic for their debt in 2021, and more than one in five (21.86 per cent ) attributed their losses to the expenditure of Christmas 2021.

For the full findings, visit: www.money.co.uk/current-accounts/debt-index


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