Consumer credit remains ‘worryingly’ high despite slight ease in rate of growth

The Bank of England has today published its latest monthly Money and Credit report showing consumer credit growth was 8.6 percent in the year to March 2018, down from 9.4 percent in February. Outstanding balances for consumer credit stand at £209.2 billion.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “While we have seen a slight ease in consumer credit growth this month, the overall levels remain worryingly high with outstanding balances at over £209 billion, and continuing to grow.

“For the majority of households this is manageable and unlikely to be an issue at the moment. But for people, particularly on low incomes, where high living costs and slow wage growth continue to be a challenge, one small change could be all it takes to push them into financial difficulty.

“Nearly one in three of the people we help at National Debtline are already struggling with credit cards debts. I would encourage anyone struggling to meet day to day costs to exercise caution and seek advice before taking on additional borrowing.

“Anyone struggling to cope should contact National Debtline or another free debt advice agency as soon as possible.”