“UFOs” identified as a potential source of debt

The bank refers to incidents such as a boiler breaking down as an example of a UFO and adds that only 20 per cent of people who encounter such problems have the savings to cover the cost.

Increases in credit card debt appeared to be the most frequent results of UFOs, with half of the people surveyed saying this was how they paid for the unexpected event.

This was compared to just one in ten people who had enough in their current account to pay for the expense and two in ten who used their savings to avoid incurring debt.

More than 50 per cent of the participants in the Lloyds TSB research estimated that they spend between £200 and £600 on UFOs every year and ten per cent said they have spent more than £900 in the past.

“It’s an unfortunate fact of life that every now and again we all suffer from unforeseen financial occurrences,” said Jason Nichols, consumer lending manager for Lloyds TSB.

“When our customers experience a UFO they want the ability to be able to choose what is the best way for them to pay for it, taking into account their financial situation at that time.”

As well as new boilers, other common instances of UFOs included car repairs, household work such as plumbing, the replacement of objects such as televisions or CD players that break and emergency dental treatment.

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