Household bills outnumber consumer credit debts

1st February 2017
Responding to the Bank of England’s latest money and credit statistics Citizens Advice says rising consumer borrowing could lead to serious debt problems further down the line – but that it is household bills putting the pressure on people’s finances now. According to the Bank’s December 2016 figures, unsecured consumer credit is at its highest level since the financial crash and recession of 2008.

Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice Chief Executive, said “Rising consumer borrowing could spell debt problems for the future – but it is household bills that are a pressing issue for many families now. The latest figures from the Bank of England on consumer borrowing are an important tool in assessing people’s confidence in markets and can signal debt problems further down the line.  While borrowing money might be manageable now – a change in circumstance could make it more difficult to keep up with repayments, so we encourage people to think about their ability to pay back when taking out credit.

“It is important to remember that consumer credit figures only look at borrowing so don’t offer the whole picture on people’s financial security. Between January to December 2016 we helped people with 435,000 household debt issues including rent, mortgage, fuel bills and council tax – 45% more than consumer credit debts – showing that it is essential bills which are pushing people into debt now.”