Media comment: Average debt to friends and family now over £4000

Thursday 1st September 2016

Speaking about figures from StepChange which showed that the average level of debt to friends and family is now over £4,000, Sheila Wheeler, Director of Debt Advice at the Money Advice Service said:

“Borrowing money from friends and family could be one of the signs that someone might be experiencing a debt problem, is becoming more financially vulnerable or is unable to access credit from mainstream lenders. Whilst only 1% of the clients who see our funded organisations for debt advice mention that they have taken a loan from their friends and family, this is likely to be a hidden problem that is not always reported as a debt, unlike the debt which is owed to official creditors.

“Friends and family are often best placed to spot the signs someone might be experiencing financial difficulties. If someone asks you to borrow money it is best to encourage them to speak to a debt expert who can look at their financial situation and help them get their finances back on track to avoid further debts. Likewise, if you are struggling to pay your bills or make repayments, seek help before borrowing further money. Use the Debt Advice Locator Tool to find free, high quality advice in your area.”