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A snapshot of UK personal debt statistics in 2022

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Statistics Yearbook 2022

Our latest annual Statistics Yearbook provides insight into the demographic and debt situations of clients who contacted the charity between January and December 2022 for their most recent advice session.

We have outlined three of the key findings from the Statistics Yearbook 2022 report.

Number 1

Clients are feeling the impact of increased living costs

In 2021, the ‘cost of living increase’ was the eighth most common reason for debt, whereas by 2022 this was the second most common reason for debt, cited by 15% of clients – up by nine percentage points year-on-year.

Number 2

A growing proportion of clients are in arrears with their energy bills

In October 2022, the Government launched the Energy Price Guarantee to support households with energy costs. Despite government intervention, one third (33%) of StepChange clients were in arrears with their energy bills, compared to 29% in 2021.

Number 2

The average unsecured debt amount per client has increased

In 2022, the mean unsecured debt amount among StepChange clients increased by 25% year-on-year to £13,941. This is the first substantial increase we have seen in the mean unsecured debt amount, following two consecutive years of decline, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our client debt advice data enables us to undertake further analysis and draw out even more insights about the situations of clients seeking debt advice from StepChange in 2022, and we’re planning to publish further analysis soon.

Want more information?

Email us to discuss our 2022 personal debt statistics and other debt research across the UK.