This latest report provides insight into the demographic and debt information of new clients who first received debt advice in May 2022. It also includes the latest insights on our website traffic trends.
Our key findings from May 2022
- May saw an increase of new clients, with more than 14,000 receiving full debt advice. This is up from around 12,500 clients in April 2022 and around 12,000 in May 2021.
- An ‘increase in the cost of living’ is now the second most commonly cited reason for debt, with around one in six (16%) new clients citing this. Experiencing a ‘lack of control of finances’ remains the most common reason for debt (18%).
- As with previous months, the ‘emergency funding’ webpage continues to be the most visited debt information page. Information about Government help with electricity and gas bills saw an increase of web visits by 54% between April and May, which perhaps provides an early indication of the impact of the energy price cap rise.
- The proportion of clients behind on their gas (23%) or electricity (28%) bills remains high relative to previous years, however the charity is yet to see a substantial increase in the proportion of clients behind on these types of arrears.
- With that said, there has been a small increase in some of the average arrears amounts, for example, the average electricity arrears amount increased by £44 between April (£1,198) and May (£1,242).
- The proportion of clients in receipt of Universal Credit (33%) and the proportion of clients with a negative budget (31%) have remained fairly similar to previous months. However, the proportion of clients with a negative budget is two percentage points higher than the previous year (29% in May 2021).
- New clients in May had similar characteristics to those in previous months. In May, single parents, renters, younger age groups and women continued to be over-represented in the population of new debt advice clients.
Take a look at the full report to find out more.