Debt statistics 2014: what do we know about personal debt in the UK?

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We’ve recently released our Statistics Yearbook 2014, packed full of the latest insights into personal debt in the UK.

We’ve delved deep into the millions of records in our data warehouse, to put together this year’s Yearbook. There’s no wonder it’s almost 50 pages long!

Other than being thick enough to wedge a door open, the main purpose of the Yearbook is to give journalists, researchers and policymakers an accurate understanding not only of what causes debt, but about the consequences debt can have on people’s lives.

But these statistics aren’t only interesting to statist..atist…icians, so we thought you’d like to take a look at some of the main findings.

So what are the main things we found out? Well, in 2014…

  • 577,677 people got in touch with us, either by giving our Helpline a call or filling in their details on our Debt Remedy tool
  • There were just under 3 million visits to our website – a 76% increase since 2012
  • Nearly three-quarters (71.4%) of our clients lived in rented accommodation – up from 61% in 2012
  • Around 1 in 5 (18.3%) people we advised are single parents
  • 5% of under-25s that contacted us had payday loans, compared to less than 5% of those aged 60+
  • Around 2 in 5 (39.8%) people we advised had arrears on priority bills, up nearly 5% from 2012.
  • Nearly half (47%) said they’d visited their doctor because their debt had impacted their physical or mental health, with a further 11% saying it had led them to visit hospital or A+E

21% of StepChange Debt Charity clients cite unemployment as the main reason for their debt problem

Although the Statistics Yearbook paints a picture of personal debt in the UK, behind the numbers are individuals whose stories give them meaning. We spoke to four of our clients about how debt has impacted their lives.

Read Rosie’s story >>

Read James’ story >>

Read Faye and Nick’s story >>

If you’re keen to find out more statistics, the full Statistics Yearbook 2014 is available to download now.


At StepChange Debt Charity we want you to be free of debt and save money.

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