Unsecured Lending Outstanding Balances at Highest Level for Years

Today the UK’s leading financial capability charity The Money Charity releases its Debt Statistics, giving an overview of the financial situation in the UK.

Outstanding balances from unsecured lending in the UK reached its highest level in over 2 years, in January 2014. New statistics revealed a sharp increase in the amount of money people owe to unsecured loans such as credit cards, bank account overdrafts, personal and payday loans.

For the past 3 years outstanding balances have fallen in January, compared to the previous December. However, this year saw a significant rise taking the total balance to over £160 billion for the first time since January 2012, figures from the latest Debt Statistics show.


Michelle Highman, Chief Executive of The Money Charity, comments;

“The recent rise in outstanding balances on unsecured loans could be attributed to the mounting financial pressures consumers are currently facing; high indebtedness, rising food and transport costs and slow income growth. We know that escalating debt and living costs constrain consumer spending and often force people to prioritise their debt. This usually means focusing on arrears where the consequences of not paying them can be incredibly serious, such as mortgages, child maintenance payments, TV licence.

Consumers may be finding that once they have paid their priority debts and covered basic living costs they don’t have the additional funds to pay their unsecured loans. And as a result continue to incur high monthly interest.

Creating a budget is one of the best ways to help manage your money in order to tackle debt and reign in your spending. The Money Charity has a range of free tools and resources to help you get on top of your money (themoneycharity.org.uk). However, if you worried about the costs of your debts, seek advice from one of the free and independent organisations available, including StepChange Debt Charity (0800 138 1111).”


Latest figures include:

  1. £54,476: average household debt (including mortgages) in January, up from £54,331 in December
  2. £6,087: average household debt (excluding mortgages) in January, up from £5,990 in December
  3. £162 million of interest was paid every day on personal debt in January
  4. £1.469 billion: daily value of all plastic card purchases in December
  5. 1,216 people were made redundant every day between October and December
  6. 845,000 people had been unemployed for over a year, between October and December
  7. Every 5 minutes 25 seconds someone was declared bankrupt or insolvent
  8. £1.439 trillion was the value of outstanding personal debt at the end of January, up from the same period last year
  9. £64.80: the cost to fill a 50-litre tank with unleaded petrol in February 2014
  10. 79 properties are repossessed every day

You can get the full picture at https://themoneycharity.org.uk/debt-statistics/