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The current debt situation in Scotland

Our 'Scotland in the Red' report identifies some of the key characteristics and debt situations of our clients in Scotland.

Download the report

Scotland in the Red 2019 report

Scotland in the Red is our annual publication that explains our key client statistics and looks at what life is like for Scots experiencing problem debt.

We analyse data from every Scottish Constituency and Local Authority to get a picture of how things were for our clients throughout 2019


Number one

Over a million people in Scotland showed signs of financial distress

Polling we conducted in 2019 indicates that there over a million Scottish adults were showing at least one sign of financial distress. The more signs that someone is experiencing the greater risk that life events result in them falling into problem debt.

Over one million Scottish adults showed signs of financial distress in 2019
Number 2

Incomes are failing to cover basic living costs

On average, after paying for essentials like rent, mortgage, utilities and council tax, our clients were £13 behind. This shows that their income isn't enough to cover these basic expenses.

The majority of our clients fall into debt as result of events that were out of their control. In 2019, 24% of our clients were in debt caused by reduced income, 14% as a result of changes to employment or redundancy, and 14% because of illness or disability.

Can't afford to pay their bills

Number 3

We helped over 40,000 people in Scotland last year

Last year we helped over 40,000 people across Scotland online and over the telephone. But there are many more out there who need help. Coronavirus will leave the financially vulnerable more vulnerable, and it will also affect new groups of people who are going to need help recovering.

Scots who contacted us in 2019

While we welcome the steps taken by the Scottish and UK Governments to support people in crisis due to coronavirus, we need policymakers to provide adequate support frameworks and affordable opportunities for people to build their resilience, allowing more people to weather unexpected crises when they do happen.

Download the report

Want more information?

Email us to discuss our 2019 personal debt statistics and other debt research across the UK.