New research into the region’s personal finances has found that, while overall levels of debt concern are staying low, more than two fifths (41%) of people surveyed are struggling to make their money last until the end of the month.
The latest findings of insolvency trade body R3’s regular Personal Debt Snapshot – conducted in collaboration with ComRes – show that 62% of those surveyed in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside say they are not at all worried about their current level of debt.
The figure represents a two percentage point rise since R3’s previous research was carried out last autumn, but is still substantially higher than the 53% figure recorded in March 2015 and remains in line with the 61% national average.
In terms of future financial prospects, the proportion of adults in the region who think their financial situation will improve over the next six months (24%) remains ahead of the proportion (21%) who think it will worsen in that time.
But despite this, 41% of regional survey respondents say they sometimes or often struggle to make their money last until payday, with the rising cost of food and rising household energy bills being the main two reasons for this.
And the proportion of adults across the region who say they don’t have any savings to fall back on has increased from 19% last autumn to 25% now.
Neil Harrold, North East chair of R3 and a partner with Hay & Kilner Solicitors, says: “Low inflation, low interest rates, and some real wage growth have helped British personal finances into an increasingly better shape.
“We’re seeing record low levels of economic pessimism and regional debt worries are staying down too, but despite this, it’s clear that some of the same problems remain for a significant proportion of people across our region.”
Credit card repayments remain the main cause of concern for those with debt worries in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside, followed by overdrafts, mortgage repayments and bank loans.
Across the UK, women (42%) continue to be more likely to than men (36%) to say that they are worried about their current debt level, and younger British adults are more likely than their older peers adults to be worried. Half of 18-44 year olds (50%) say they are worried, compared to a third of 55-64 year olds (34%) and one in six of those aged over 65 (17%).
Neil Harrold continues: “Although personal insolvencies have fallen back to pre-recession levels, they are still well above where they were before 2003 when insolvency numbers started to grow rapidly. With so many people worried about their debts or struggling financially, relatively high numbers of personal insolvencies are not surprising.
“If you feel your debt levels are getting out of control, the best course of action is always to seeking professional advice as early as you can, so you have the widest range of possible solutions for getting your finances back on track.”
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