Access to support “becoming more urgent” as borrowing levels remain high
The Bank of England has today published its latest Money and Credit figures showing consumer credit growth remained at 5.7 percent in May 2022. The annual growth rate of credit card borrowing and other forms of consumer credit was 11.2 percent with outstanding balances for consumer credit now standing at £202.2 billion.
Research from the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, showed that in March, just one in five UK adults (20 percent) felt prepared to deal with rising costs.
With the cost of living continuing to rise, the charity says the high level of consumer credit may be a warning sign of a burden of debt for struggling households further down the line.
Jane Tully, director of external affairs and partnerships at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said: “Today’s figures, showing a continued high level of consumer credit borrowing, are a worrying sign of the continued strain on UK household budgets.
“At National Debtline we regularly see people relying on credit to cover essential costs such as food, energy and council tax – more often than not, it is a sign of financial difficulty.
“With consumer credit borrowing growing over the last 12 months, and rising costs showing no sign of abating, there are real concerns struggling households will find it difficult to repay when the time comes.
“While the Government has introduced welcome support to help with rising costs, accessing this support is becoming more urgent for people who are having difficulty meeting their basic costs.
“I would encourage anyone worried about their finances to contact a free debt advice service like National Debtline as soon as possible.”