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Two thirds of Brits starting the New Year saddled with debt

A third owe between £2,000 and £10,000

Almost two thirds (63%) of Brits are heading into 2020 with some form of personal debt, including money owed on credit cards, personal loans, car loans, bank overdrafts and payday loans.

The survey by comparison site money.co.uk found 33% have a personal debt between £2,000 and £10,000 and 18% said their personal debt was above £10,000.

The average credit card debt of those polled was £2,966, with men (£3,138) owing over £300 more than women (£2,793).

Respondents aged between 35 and 44 years have an average debt of £4,076 versus £1,784 for 16-24 year olds.

When asked what their debt was caused by, 40% stated normal living expenses, 21% said debt consolidation, 19% holidays, 18% Christmas, 18% luxury items, 12% paying off debt accrued from previous Christmas spending and 10% on helping others out of debt.

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “One of the most concerning stats from the research is that 40% of people are using debt to pay for household essentials, simply unable to afford the cost of living from their regular income.”

One in six (16%) of those polled believe it will take seven years or more to pay off their debts, and 8% said they didn’t know when they will pay off their debts.

Brits save £190 on average each month, but just under a third (31%) say they are only able to save £50 or less.