What you think causes debt is wrong
Do you know the main causes of debt? We asked this question in a recent poll carried out in association with eZonomics.
Despite the fact that more and more people struggle with debt each year, there is still a stigma attached to being in debt. We wanted to see how many people think that problem debt is fuelled by reckless credit card spending. The results of the poll, shown in light green in the graphic above, are that almost 50% of the people we asked believe that overspending is the major cause of debt problems in the UK.
However, the perception that overspending or ‘going wild in the aisles’ is the biggest cause of financial difficulties, is too simplistic.
The reality (shown in dark green in the graphic), is that nearly half of all the debt problems we come across are actually caused by work issues such as redundancy, reduced working hours or a pay cut. 'Life issues', such as divorce, bereavement and illness, are another common cause of debt. Whereas overspending is the main cause of debt in only 10% of cases we see.
At StepChange Debt Charity, we understand the many factors that can lead to debt problems and give non-judgemental, impartial debt advice to hundreds of thousands of people, from all walks of life, every year. If you are worried about your own financial situation, visit our online debt advice service; StepChange Debt Remedy, for a quick, anonymous assessment of your circumstances. Debt Remedy will give you tailored advice and recommendations on what to do next.
If a formal debt solution, such as a DMP (debt management plan) or an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) is the best option for you, we can also arrange this for you.
The full list of the reasons for debt (PDF, page 26) are contained within our 2010 Stats Yearbook.