Age UK raises debt concerns

Age UK is concerned about the number of older people in the UK who find themselves in debt.

According to the organisation, the double-dip recession…

Age UK is concerned about the number of older people in the UK who find themselves in debt.

According to the organisation, the double-dip recession and wider economic turmoil in Britain and on the continent is driving up the number of people in need of debt consolidation advice.

The charity commissioned a study by TNS, which found that the number of older people with outstanding debts has increased sharply and almost a fifth of those individuals are concerned about how much they owe.

One in five of the over 60s said that they owed money on a mortgage, credit card or unsecured loan.

A smaller number – one in ten – noted that they had borrowed money to help cover the cost of their rent or mortgage and a third raised concerns that their savings pot was not going to be enough for them to maintain a financially stable future in retirement.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said: "It is extremely worrying that such a high number of older people report having debts and have had to borrow money just to keep a roof over their heads."

She urged the government to take decisive action and ensure that older people at risk of slipping into poverty should be offered more support.

"Older people are more likely than any other age group to miss out on their benefits because they are hesitant to claim, don't think they are eligible, or believe the claiming process is over-complicated and intrusive," she added.

Age UK's concerns about debt in old age come after MoneySupermarket.com claimed that as many as 1.7 million grandparents are using their own money to help out financially insecure relatives.

The price comparison site's head of banking Kevin Mountford said that many older people were being pushed to the limit by taking out additional finance to help family members.

Posted by Amy White

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