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A closer look at UK personal debt in 2017

Download our Yearbook

Looking for the most recent personal debt statistics?

This page gives a summary of our 2017 Statistics Yearbook. You can find the most up-to-date personal debt statistics in our 2018 Statistics Yearbook report.

Personal debt statistics in 2017

Our Statistics Yearbook takes an in-depth look at more than 600,000 people struggling with problem debt. Explore the latest personal and household debt trends of new clients who contacted us in 2017.

1. Demand for debt advice is at its highest ever

In 2017, 620,000 people contacted StepChange for help with their debts. That’s one new person every 51 seconds.

demand for debt advice is at its highest ever

2. Younger people are under financial pressure

The proportion of clients in younger age groups has been increasing in recent years. Almost two thirds of the clients we advised in 2017 were under 40 years old, including 14% aged between 18 and 24.

younger people are under financial pressure

3. More renters are facing financial difficulty

Fewer homeowners and more renters are contacting us for advice. In 2017, four in every five new clients were renters.

more renters face financial difficulty

4. Our clients struggle to afford essential bills

Last year, two in every five new clients were behind on at least one essential household bill, such as their gas, electricity or rent.

our clients struggle to afford essential bills

5. More single parents are seeking advice

One in five clients we advised in 2017 were single parents. This is far higher than the average proportion of single parent households across the UK.

more single parents are seeking advice

Download our Statistics Yearbook 2017 for the full picture*

Download now

*Unless otherwise stated, the figures in the documents are based on the 357,386 new clients debt advised between 1 January and 31 December 2017.

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  Download the full dataset now (this document will open in Excel)

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Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2019