Credit Action figures could hint at insolvencies to come

Credit Action figures could hint at insolvencies to come

In the 21st century it is not uncommon for individuals to have tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt.

We have come to accept that owing money to banks and other financial institutions is a normal thing to do and the only way that many people can afford to buy homes, go on holidays or own cars.

However, many businesses are also in the same position and this culture of borrowing has found many firms left wanting during the economic downturn.

With today (September 30th) marking the quarterly rent payment day in the retail sector, insolvency trade body R3 predicts that a number of firms could soon be seeking bankruptcy advice.

However, this could be just the tip of the iceberg, with recent figures from Credit Action showing the state of Brits' savings.

The data may relate to individuals, but this could have a knock-on effect on businesses – especially those in the retail industry – through reduced spending.

Including mortgage debt, the average household owed £55,822 as of the end of September, while the typical UK adult has just short of £30,000 to their name in terms of money owed.

The finance industry is benefiting to the tune of £175 million per day in personal interest charges, which could mean that while some firms are in need of insolvency advice, most lenders are not.

With 1,775 Brits made redundant daily and 849,000 having been out of work for more than a year, it is perhaps unsurprising that consumer confidence is low.

Credit Action director of project and partnership development Liz Dunscombe explained that the data was to be expected.

"That the October debt statistics show some concerning indicators will come as no great surprise," she said.

"The annual growth rate in consumer lending has risen to 2.3 per cent – its highest level since May 2009."

According to the expert, the "persistently low" consumer confidence levels might suggest that this increased borrowing has been forced upon UK residents, who are left looking to finance to get them through the month.

"Moreover, given that daily write offs of loans by banks and building societies increased in Q2 2011 to £22.54m, a worrying picture begins to emerge," Ms Dunscombe stated.

"Additional pressure has been placed on some on family budgets due to recent increases in redundancies and long-term unemployment. The number of daily redundancies rose to 1,775 in the 3 months to the end of July, whilst the total number of people who have been out of work for over a year also increased to 849,000."

This is the equivalent of a 2.5 per cent quarterly rise and a 6.4 per cent year-on-year increase.

The Credit Action specialists claimed that careful management of finances is more vital than ever, and urged those finding it tough to make ends meet to seek professional advice.

This sentiment was echoed by the Debt Advice Foundation, which urged Brits to speak to experts and discuss what is best for them in the long-term.

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