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Creditfix LB 03-2017

Consumer Debt Too Easy to Acquire

A recent survey of UK consumers has found that almost half (45 per cent) feel that it is far too easy to get into debt.

The research carried out by Gorkana and TDX Group, part of consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, reported that 45 per cent of UK consumers felt that it was too easy for people to access debt.

In addition, 20 per cent of those surveyed felt that banks and other financial lenders should be more careful of who they lend money to.

The vast majority of those surveyed were not interested in paying additional fees to banks for benefits, with 83 per cent not willing to pay a monthly fee to benefit from lower fees for overdrafts and overseas spending.

In fact, nearly half of those consumers asked felt that bank accounts should be free and were not prepared to pay any fees at all.

Of those surveyed who actually had a current loan, around a quarter felt that unexpected bills were the most likely reason for them to struggle with repayments, whilst 20 per cent cited increases in the cost of living as the main danger.

Over a quarter (27 per cent) confirmed that they would ask family and friends for help if their outstanding debt was to become too much for them.

Richard Haymes, head of financial difficulties at TDX Group, commented: ‘Personal debt is continuously on the up in the UK and its increasingly important consumers are aware of their debt levels, only taking on loans they can afford to repay. The high number of consumers who think it?s too easy to become saddled with high levels of debt, illustrates banks and other lenders still have their work cut out to ensure they only lend to those who can afford it.’

Mr Haymes concluded: ‘The responsibility to limit debt must also fall on the individual. Education is essential; although it?s encouraging consumers recognise that repayments exceeding 10 per cent of their monthly income would be difficult to manage, many need to rethink their spending priorities to better manage their debt.’

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