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Worried woman

One in six struggle with debt –here’s the answer

A major study by the Money Advice Service has revealed one in six UK adults are dealing with problem debt.

For the first time, the statistical likelihood of being over-indebted has been measured for each UK adult, based on a number of factors including age and income, based on a model by the Money Advice Service and technology company CACI.

This gives a comprehensive picture of debt in the UK, indicating where people have either fallen behind with their bills in at least three of the last six months, or feel their debts are a heavy burden.

But what did we find makes you more likely to be in debt – and what is the answer for those struggling with money worries?

A picture of over-indebtedness


What can you do?

There is no doubt that starting to deal with your debt can feel difficult. Currently, only one in five people with financial difficulties seek advice.

But there is evidence that getting free debt advice is a great way to get on top of managing your money. 79,000 of the 89,000 people who sought debt advice through our funded partners last Oct-December 2015 went on to take a positive action to better manage their debts. There was also a 38% rise in the number of actions to manage debt well year-on-year.

Debt advice doesn’t have to be frightening and these figures show the real rewards of seeking advice. Debt advice centers are full of trained advisors who can give you free, confidential help – and even better, they’re local to you.

For a full breakdown of the findings, including analysis by local authority, see our A Picture of Over-Indebtedness report.

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