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Childless couples struggling with personal loan debt problems

Published: November 13, 2012

Couples without children are significantly more likely to be struggling with personal loan debt than their child raising counterparts, according to findings released today by StepChange Debt Charity.

The gap between couples with debt

Since 2007, the charity has seen notably more couples without children seeking its help with personal loan debt, when compared with those with children.

Last year, 66,527 childless couples sought the charity’s help for problems stemming from personal loan debt; for those bringing up children the number was just 55,610, a difference of 10,917.

In 2010, 14,745 more couples without children came to StepChange Debt Charity with personal loan problems; in 2009 the difference was 15,495; in 2008 it was 12,349; and in 2007 it was 11,173.

Personal loan debt and seeking help

Commenting on the findings, Delroy Corinaldi, StepChange Debt Charity’s external affairs director, said: “While personal loans are not the most expensive form of credit when compared to credit cards, store cards or payday loans, the amounts owed on personal loans can be significantly higher and take longer to pay back as a result.

“The reasons for the trends we’re seeing are not certain. However, tax credits and child benefit can provide a financial buffer for those with children that is not always available to those without.

“Lifestyle differences between couples with children and those without may also explain such a discrepancy. Often those with children are more conservative with their spending and less likely to use credit to fund holidays and social activities.

“Regardless of the reasons, anyone who is struggling with any form of debt should immediately seek debt help from a debt charity”.

Notes to editors:

1. StepChange Debt Charity’s ethos is to help the “can’t pays”, not the “won’t pays”, and does not condone debt avoidance. StepChange Debt Charity always aims to help its clients pay back what they owe, in a realistic timescale and manner that is suited to each individual’s situation.

2. StepChange Debt Charity is self-funding. Lenders share with the charity the benefit they receive from its operation, making a donation from the money repaid to them. This allows StepChange Debt Charity to retain its independence and ensure that its advice is always in the best interest of the client.

3. The StepChange Debt Charity free phone helpline 0800 138 1111 is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 3pm Saturday.

4. Online help is available any time from StepChange Debt Remedy at www.stepchange.org

5. Follow us on Twitter: @StepChange and @Moneyaware  

Media enquiries:

All media enquiries should be directed to:

Una Farrell - una.farrell@stepchange.org

Ed Ware - edward.ware@stepchange.org

Tel: 0207 391 4583 (07950 469101 if outside office hours)

Contact the the StepChange news team on:

Tel: 0207 391 4598

Mobile: 07985 404153

Email: press@stepchange.org

Follow our press team on Twitter: @StepChange