British adults’ struggles to payday at record lows – R3
Fewer British adults say they are struggling from payday to payday than at any point in the last six years, according to the latest survey of over 2,000 British adults by insolvency trade body R3 and ComRes.
- Two in five British adults (39%) say that they are at least fairly worried about their current level of debt.
- This represents a decline in debt worries over the past year: 41% of British adults were at least fairly worried in August 2015 and 46% were in March 2015.
- Women (42%) continue to be more likely than men (36%) to say that they are worried about their current debt level.
- Younger British adults are more likely than older British adults to be worried. Half of 18-44 year olds (50%) say they are worried, compared to a third of 55-64 year olds (34%) and one in six of those aged over 65 (17%).
- Credit card debt (47%) remains the primary concern among those worried, followed by overdrafts (21%) and mortgage repayments (17%).
- More than a third (36%) of British adults say they often or sometimes struggle to make it to payday, the lowest level since tracking began in 2010.
- There continues to be a gender gap with respect to struggling to payday, as women (42%) are considerably more likely than men (31%) to report that they struggle.
- The rising cost of basic expenses continues to be the main problem among those that struggle, particularly rising costs of food (49%) and household energy (37%).
- Wage freezes are a lesser concern (15%) than a year ago (24% in March 2015), and the proportion of those saying that they are struggling due to recent cuts in welfare benefits(12%) has remained stable since August 2015.
- Only 5% of British adults say they are likely to seek a payday or other short-term, high interest loan in the next six months, a slightly lower proportion than observed over the previous year (6% in August 2015, 8% in March 2015).
- Worryingly, a high proportion of those who say that they are extremely worried (16%) or very worried (21%) about their current level of debt say that they are likely to seek a payday loan in the next six months, which could compound their already high exposure to debt and potentially further aggravate their financial struggles.
- British adults continue to be more likely to expect their personal finances to improve (26%) than to worsen (15%) over the next six months.
- Economic pessimism continues to stand at a record low –remaining at the same level as August 2015 (15%).
- Younger adults are twice as likely to be optimistic as older adults, with a third of 18-44 year olds (34%) expecting their financial situation to improve over the next six months, compared to 17% of those aged over 55.