More households than ever are “ill-equipped to deal with future economic shocks” say StepChange after releasing “sobering” stats that show a record number of people contacted them for help this year.
The debt charity revealed that 331,337 people have asked for help with problem debt this year, but that is only one of the figures that should be a “wake-up call” for the government.
Their Mid-Year Update found that 190,484 new clients turned to the charity in desperate need of help while the average level of unsecured personal debt sat at £13,799 – both of these figures have increased by two per cent in the last six months.
Council tax arrears remain the most common issue among new clients, which has been the case since 2015 when the national scheme of council tax benefit was removed. The proportion of people in getting in touch for help has increased slightly to 31 per cent with StepChange citing the number of debts passed on to bailiffs as a concern.
StepChange is urging the government to press on with reviews on bailiff reform and council tax debt collection as well as calling for an independent regulator and the introduction of affordable repayment plans to curb the debt crisis.