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A snapshot of UK personal debt statistics in 2023

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Statistics Yearbook 2023

Our latest annual Statistics Yearbook provides insight into the demographic and debt situations of clients, who fully completed their very first debt advice session, between January and December 2023.

The analysis provides a picture of how things were for our clients in 2023 compared to the previous year. Some of the key findings from the latest Statistics Yearbook include:

1) One new client completes debt advice every three minutes

StepChange advised 183,403 new clients in 2023. This is equivalent to one new client completing debt advice every three minutes (172 seconds). Compared to 2022, StepChange provided debt advice to 16,000 more clients, representing a 10% year-on-year increase.

One new client completes debt advice every three minutes

2)Mounting cost of living pressures

One in four (25%) clients cited ‘a cost of living increase’ as their main reason for debt in 2023, which is unsurprising considering that households have had to navigate high inflation rates. ‘A cost of living increase’ is now the most common reason for debt up by seven percentage points compared to 2022, and up by 19 percentage points compared to 2021 (6%).

Rising cost of living

3) Majority of clients are in employment

In 2023, three in five (59%) StepChange clients were in some form of employment which is up by three percentage points compared to 2022 (56%). The proportion of clients in full-time (42%) and part-time (15%) employment increased by two percentage points and one percentage point, respectively since 2022.

Majority of clients are in employment

Want more information?

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 2023.

If you want to find out more about our Statistics Yearbook publications, or our research, please email us at policy@stepchange.org.