Debt most prominent in urban city areas

Debt and financial problems impact a broad section of the UK, but it follows a clear geographic and social pattern, according to new research publishe…

Debt and financial problems impact a broad section of the UK, but it follows a clear geographic and social pattern, according to new research published by Experian and StepChange Debt Charity.

The research analysed areas across the UK where the most people were seeking advice for debt problems and areas where financial problems are most prevalent. This data was then used to identify the social and demographic makeup of those people seeking advice.

Those that are most commonly struggling with debt are people with low incomes, young people in rented accommodation and young families. In addition, inner cities and surrounding areas across the country feature prominently on the list of places with the most debt-related problems.

Parts of East London and West Birmingham, as well as Manchester and Hull, topped the rankings for locations where people had ‘severe financial problems’ and had fallen behind with bills and credit commitments.  

At the other end of the spectrum, locations across the southern counties and suburban London were identified as having the lowest levels of debt problems, with the Isles of Scilly found to have the lowest levels of problem debt in the UK.    

Richard Jenkings at Experian said: "Our findings show that debt problems can impact people from all different backgrounds and circumstances. Although it is not a surprise that the need for advice on debt-related problems rises as average income levels fall and unemployment rates rise, evidently there’s also a significant number of people who have either lived beyond their means or whose circumstances have changed and have fallen into debt. Nobody would deny that it is easier to fall into debt if you have a low income, but this study has shown that there are also variations in people’s behaviour in different parts of the country." 

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