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R3: Only one in thirteen struggling borrowers plan to get help

By Joel Stanier

5 March2021

Debt help Just one in thirteen borrowers who have concerns about their debts plan to get help dealing with them, according to the latest Personal Debt Snapshot report by insolvency trade body R3.

'Debt concern' now affects around 39% of UK adults - around 18 million people - but only 1.4 million intend to seek debt advice in the next six months. Only 6% of the population has ever sought debt advice in the past.

Frances Coulson, President of R3, said there appears to be a "huge unwillingness to take debt advice" - perhaps because of the social stigma associated with debt problems. She added: "At the other end of the balance sheet, if you had a sum of money to invest, you wouldn't think twice about taking advice first.

"This is frustrating, as we know the experience of those who seek proper advice is invariably positive. While there is some confusion about where to seek clear advice for about a quarter of the population, there seems to be a 'head in the sand' approach - or maybe it is the stigma of bankruptcy."

The report added that while one in four people don't think it's clear where they should turn for good debt advice, 41% of those who have done so say they wish they had done it earlier.

An expert at financial solutions company Think Money said: "Debt problems can be very worrying, not just because of the impact on your own finances, but because of the perceived consequences of owning up to them. Some people think their lenders will be unforgiving and try to get all the money back straight away - but the reality is quite different.

"Lenders know that people struggle with their debts from time to time, and are likely to agree to some kind of repayment plan if it's clearly the most realistic way for you to repay your debts."

Image iStockPhotos / Neil Kendall

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Tags: r3, debt, Personal Debt Snapshot, insolvency, debt advice, trade body, debt help

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