ao link
0 £0.00
This item was added to your basket
Credit Strategy homepage
LinkedIn
Twitter
Intelligence, Insight and community for responsible professionals in credit

Analysis: 100,000 fewer people get full debt advice in 2020, despite rocketing numbers  

Around 100,000 fewer people went through full debt advice with Stepchange Debt Charity in 2020, compared to 2019, despite the soaring numbers of individuals in problem debt.

The charity’s Statistics Yearbook for 2020 shows that only 200,000 clients went through full debt advice in 2020, compared to over 300,000 in 2019. This came as a surprise to StepChange as research shows the number of people in problem debt has rocketed from 1.7 million to 2.4 million since the pandemic began.

 

According to the statistics, the temporary phenomenon has come about because, despite significantly increasing pent-up demand, the temporary emergency support measures have combined to create a situation where millions of households have seen their debt problems “kicked down the road”. StepChange anticipates these to crystallise as forbearance becomes less generous or is withdrawn.

 

However, while the numbers of people seeking full debt advice have fallen, the demographics of those who are, have shifted.

 

Half of all clients in 2020 were in a vulnerable situation, up from 44% in 2019. The most common vulnerable situation was a mental health issue, affecting more than one third of all the charity’s new clients in 2020.

 

The proportion of clients who were single without children rose significantly, from 36% in 2019 to 44% in 2020. The charity links this growth to the increase in the proportion of clients in a vulnerable situation.

 

The statistics showed that women remain over-represented, with 60% of clients being women, though this is in line with previous years. Single parents also remained over-represented, as just 6% of the UK population are single parents, yet 22% of clients were this household type.

 

StepChange chief executive Phil Andrew said: “We all know what an unusual year 2020 was, and client statistics reinforce that. Despite problem debt increasing, and our website running red hot as a huge influx of people sought information, we actually took fewer clients through full debt advice. Many adopted a “wait and hope” approach to their latent financial difficulties, utilising emergency support.

 

“Looking ahead, the route out of Covid-induced debt for many households is not yet clear. We are seeking to work urgently with other stakeholders to chart a safe passage for as many households as possible.”

Please login to continue reading this article.

Not a member?

Become a member

FREE registration. No credit card required

Register now
  • Stay up-to-date with industry news and appointments
  • Hear about events first
  • Read 1 free Premium article per month

Become a premium member

From as little as £3.48 per week

Become Premium
  • All the perks of a standard member plus:
  • Access to the entire Credit Strategy website
  • 12 months subscription to Credit Strategy Magazine
  • 25% discount to all conferences
  • Exclusive access to Premium Member only roundtables
  • 50% off award entry fees

GET THE LATEST INDUSTRY NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

READ NEXT

“New nervousness” consumer attitude in credit market

“New nervousness” consumer attitude in credit market

For crown and country: How government debt collection reforms are becoming a reality

For crown and country: How government debt collection reforms are becoming a reality

Asset finance market grew by 15% in March 2021

Asset finance market grew by 15% in March 2021

Upcoming events

Credit Strategy
LinkedIn page

Member of

Did you find our website useful?

Thank you for your input

Thank you for your feedback

creditstrategy.co.uk – an online news and information service for the UK’s commercial and consumer credit industry. creditstrategy.co.uk is published by Shard Financial Media Limited, registered in England & Wales as 5481132, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London, SE1 1YT. All rights reserved. Credit Strategy is committed to diversity in the workplace. @ Copyright Shard Media Group