Squeezed Perth and Kinross residents have seen the amount they owe on loans, credit cards and other unsecured debts escalate in the first three months of 2018, the latest UK Personal Debt Index (PDI) has revealed.
Across the area, average personal debt levels for people seeking professional help to deal with their money problems are now at £13,800 – up 19% compared to the previous three months. According to the report, it’s one of the biggest regional increases in the country since Christmas and £6,633 lower than the national average debt level of £20,433.
The PDI is compiled quarterly by Creditfix, the UK’s largest personal insolvency practice, following a study of over 60,000 individuals across the country. Unsecured debt refers to any debt that is not protected by a guarantor or asset; this includes bank loans, credit cards and payday loans.
According to Terry Sweeney, CEO of Creditfix, existing debts are often compounded by the post-Christmas spending hangover during this period:
“No matter how careful they have been with money over Christmas, many families are derailed by the first credit card bill of the year, particularly if they are already struggling with enormous debts from credit cards, pay day loans or car finance,” he said.
“Going into the New Year with mounting debts is always distressing, but it’s never too late to do something about it. As we move into spring and summer, the pressure on household finances starts to increase even further, with parents normally having to spend more to keep the kids fed and entertained during the school holidays. I’d urge anyone who is currently facing financial hardship to speak to a professional as soon as possible and discuss how they can make their debts more manageable.”
To see how debt affects people in your local area, and how your situation compares, click here to visit the Creditfix Postcode Checker.