Almost two-fifths of adults across the region are worried about how much money they owe, according to new research.
A survey of over 2,000 British adults by insolvency trade body R3 and ComRes has found that 38% of adults across the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside expressed concerns about their current level of debt, with ten per cent saying they were either extremely (4%) or very (6%) worried by it.
This represents a two per cent increase since April last year, when 36% of adults surveyed said the same thing, slightly below the current British average of 40%.
But while 12% of adults in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside felt that their financial situation would worsen over the next six months, almost twice as many (23%) felt it would improve over the same period.
Overall in Britain, half (48%) of adults who say they are worried about their current level of debt cite credit cards as worrying, followed by overdrafts (18%), mortgage repayments and bank loans (both 16%), and loans from family or friends (14%).
The percentage of adults across the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside who say they don’t have any savings at the moment (18%) has decreased since April last year (24%).
More than two in every five adults (42%) in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside area report that they often or sometimes struggle to payday, in line with both the proportion who said the same in April 2018 (40%) and the figure for all British adults today (also 40%).
Andrew Haslam, chair of R3 in the North East and head of specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP’s Newcastle office, says: “The picture painted by our research of people’s personal finances across the region is quite a concerning one, especially with the year-on-year increase in the proportion of those we surveyed who are worried about their current debt levels.
“Unemployment rates are at a record low, but with many people reporting that they don’t have any savings, it appears that many people’s levels of financial resilience are lower than they should be. The proportion of people who say they struggle to payday backs this up – there’s too much month at the end of the money.
“The rises in minimum wage levels this April will bring a measure of relief for lots of people, but will be partly offset in some cases by the increase at the same time of automatic pension enrolment contributions. With wage growth having trailed inflation for a long period, there’s still a lot of catching up to be done before the difference is felt in people’s pockets.
“Anyone worried about their debt or struggling with their finances should speak to a qualified and regulated expert about their options as soon as they feel things are starting to get out of control, so that they have the best chance of finding a solution which can put them back on the road towards financial stability.”