3.8 million UK households to default on personal debt by 2022

The number of households in personal debt default is set to increase to 3.8 million by the end of 2022, up from 3.3 million at the end of 2017 according to the latest econometric forecast from Arrow Global’s ‘Debt Britain 2018’ research.

Arrow Global’s forecast is based upon analysis of the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) projections for interest rates, unemployment and consumer debt.

The 0.5 million increase is expected despite a slight dip in the total in 2019 and 2020, due to the lagged effect of the post-Brexit referendum bank base-rate cut and subdued unemployment. It will then resume an upwards trajectory to reach 3.8 million by the end of 2022.

From 2020 onwards Arrow Global expects mortgage possessions to rise more sharply as the recent base-rate increase and future rises push up borrowers’ costs.

The forecast also looks at the impact on default levels if the Bank of England increases the bank base rate at a faster rate than currently projected. If it is 0.5% higher than the OBR forecast, an additional 250,000 households will default by 2021.

Lee Rochford, Group Chief Executive Officer of Arrow Global comments: “While some debt default is to be expected due to changes in personal circumstances and economic factors, it is startling that an increase in the bank base rate by only 0.5% could lead quarter of a million more households to default.

“It is vital that people with debt problems are provided with support and as a responsible credit management services provider, we focus on helping people manage and repay their debt in a sustainable way.”