Eleanor Temple

R3’s Yorkshire personal finances bulletin – Autumn 2017

More than two-fifths (43%) of adults in Yorkshire and the Humber are at least fairly worried about their current level of debt, while a similar proportion (41%) say they sometimes or often struggle to make it to payday - a picture which is broadly similar across Great Britain, according to the latest research from insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

The figures, from the most recent in the long-running R3/ComRes surveys of over 2,000 British adults’ personal debt concerns, give an insight into the current position of the region’s personal finances.

In terms of key sources of debt concern, worries about credit card debt remain the highest with 43% of adults in the Yorkshire and the Humber who are worried about their overall level of debt citing this (below the British figure of 50%); followed by concerns about overdrafts (21); bank loans (17%); mortgage repayments (16%); and student loans (14%).

The Personal Debt Snapshot also showed that 23% of adults in Yorkshire and the Humber say they do not have any savings at all at the moment (in line with the national average of 24%). One in five (20%) adults living in the region think their personal financial situation will improve in the next six months (compared to 22% across Great Britain), slightly higher than the 22% regionally who think their personal finance situation will get worse in the next six months (versus 19% nationally).

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, says:

“It is worrying to see that a fifth (22%) of adults in the region expect their financial situation to worsen over the next six months, but this is hardly surprising given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding our withdrawal from the EU and growing concerns about inflation and the weak pound.

“As ever, our advice to both individuals and businesses is to face up to their financial problems and seek professional advice before they spiral out of control. If you take action early, there may well be a way of guiding you through financial issues.”

Other negative indicators include 10% of adults in the region who say they are only paying the interest off on their credit card and not reducing the original debt itself (slightly higher than the 8% of all British adults in the same situation). 8% regionally and nationally have borrowed £100 or more from friends or family in the last month; and 4% of adults here and across the UK have missed a debt repayment deadline in the past month.

Two fifths (41%) of adults in Yorkshire and the Humber say they often or sometimes struggle to make it to payday, with the most common causes being: the cost of food (cited by 52% of those who often or sometimes struggle to make it to payday); followed by: household energy costs (43%); fuel or transport costs (35%); spending on going out or non-essentials (23%); credit card repayments (18%); wage freezes (14%); mortgage repayments (13%) and paying for rent (11%)

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