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Our most up-to-date figures

A closer look at personal and household debt problems in the UK

Living on a DMP


Recently, we’ve seen more people in financial difficulty who are working part-time and living in rented accommodation, and more families struggling with essential household bills.

Our key findings

1. Continued high demand for debt advice

In 2015, we continued to see a high demand for free debt advice. Throughout the course of the year 549,053 people contacted us by telephone or online, and there were over 3 million visits to our website. On average our clients owed £13,900, spread over an average of 5.6 debts.

2. More people are behind on essential bills

In 2015 we advised a much greater proportion of clients with priority arrears. 40% of our clients are behind on payments on essentials such as council tax, rent and utilities. In 2011, this was the case for just a quarter of our clients.

3. More people working part-time in problem debt

More than half (57%) of those who came to us for debt advice in 2015 were employed. But of these, fewer people have full-time jobs, and more people have part-time jobs.

4. Financial difficulties are hitting renters hardest

The vast majority (75%) of our clients now live in rented accommodation, up from 55% five years ago. The costs associated with renting are rising, and as a result vulnerability to income shocks and unexpected costs has also grown. 

To find out more, please take a look at our 2015 personal debt Statistics Yearbook which contains our latest figures on UK household debt.

See all of our debt statistics

Take a look at our full archive of Statistics Yearbooks for the full picture.

See all statistics


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0207 391 4598 Office hours

07985 404 153 Outside office hours


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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.

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*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