Indebted lives: the complexities of life in debt

Across the UK approximately 8.8 million people are over-indebted. These are individuals who have been at least three months behind with their bills in the last six months or have said that they feel their debts are a heavy burden.

This large and diverse group represents 18% of the UK adult population and within it there are a range of different levels of knowledge and skills, and different attitudes and behaviours towards debt and seeking advice.

In order to provide a clearer picture of the different needs of this group, and how they can be helped through advice services, the Money Advice Service commissioned a piece of research to analyse their characteristics and to identify smaller sub-groups that display similar situations, attitudes and motivations.