The Elephant In The Room: Debt


Many of us are no stranger to credit, whether that’s a lump sum borrowed as a loan or smaller transactions made on a credit card or through Buy Now Pay Later schemes. People choose to take advantage of credit for a variety of reasons, but at Smart Money People, our recent analysis shows that debt issues have risen over the past 12 months.

Given the ongoing cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise that UK adults are borrowing more frequently, likely looking for assistance with inflation and rising bills. In these financial circumstances, many households may be feeling pressure to borrow beyond their means, purely to make ends meet. 

Debts can easily stack up to unmanageable amounts, resulting in many people feeling ashamed or embarrassed that they’ve found themselves in this situation. Debt is nothing to be embarrassed about and should never be brushed under the rug: the sooner you admit that you’re having a problem with debt, the easier it is to manage.

Debt issues are rising

We looked into the volume of certain Google search queries in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. We found that searches for ‘debt consolidation loan’ had risen 124%, ‘debt management plan’ had risen 22%, ‘bankruptcy’ had risen 23% and ‘IVA’ the shorthand version of Individual Voluntary Agreement had risen 22%.*

Alongside this, The Insolvency Service’s latest quarterly data (release 28 October 2022) stated that the total number of individual insolvencies in England and Wales has risen by 8% compared to the same period in 2021. There was also an 18% increase in registrations for Breathing Space, a debt respite initiative.

Although these statistics show that debt issues are rising, the fact that many are looking for methods of support and advice to assist them with their debt problems is very positive. Unfortunately, it can be easy to become overwhelmed when searching for support, as the Google search ‘help with debt’ returns 917 million results, so where do you begin?

Where to seek help with debt

Many people assume that bankruptcy is the best way out of debt, but there is a range of solutions that may be more suitable depending on personal circumstances.

There are a variety of resources available for free debt support: Citizens Advice has a good number of resources, as well as the government’s Money Helper, which has a list of free online debt advisors. These can be great places to start identifying the options available, but before selecting a debt solutions provider, it can be beneficial to do some research to find out just how reputable the provider is and how satisfied genuine customers have been with the service.

Anybody looking for third-party help with debt management should check reviews for the provider to ensure that they choose a reputable company with a good customer service track record. Smart Money People collects genuine debt management reviews from UK adults, helping others to gain insight into a company before approaching them for support.

The reviews on Smart Money People are honest accounts of real people’s experiences, sharing all of the pros and cons they’ve experienced with the provider to help you make an informed decision when selecting where to seek help.

*All Google search data was extracted using Keyword Tool.

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