11.5 million borrowing more – Freedom Finance urges shopping around

Today the ONS released data on debt and wellbeing, finding that more than a fifth of adults in Great Britain (22%, equal to around 11.5 million people) reported borrowing more money or using more credit than the previous year because of the increased cost of living. This data is from 25 January – 5 February 2023, and is an increase from 17% between 19 – 30 January 2022.

Nearly a third (31%) said they would be unable to afford an unexpected expense, and those borrowing more were more likely to report a high anxiety score.

Emma Steeley, CEO at Freedom Finance – one of the UK’s leading digital lending marketplaces – commented: “The cost of living crisis has undoubtedly placed a significant strain on millions of people’s household budgets this winter. With more than three in 10 people saying that they would be unable to afford an unexpected expense, it is evident that many are in a precarious financial situation.

“Rising interest rates have also made borrowing more expensive with credit card rates at their highest level since before the millennium while personal loans are also at multi-year highs. With the era of cheap money disappearing, the importance of consumers making good financial decisions is increasingly important.

“For consumers looking to take out a credit product like a personal loan, our message is simple: use all the technologies and tools at your disposal to shop around and secure a deal that suits your personal circumstances.

“Soft-search technology and digital marketplaces can help borrowers shop around just the products that they are eligible for – removing the fear of declined applications and an overwhelmingly large range of products – as well as taking into consideration a variety of personal factors that can help people get the best product for their situation, more of the time.”