Over-indebtedness in Britain: first follow-up report

Over-indebtedness in Britain: first follow-up report
Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Dept. for Business, Innovation and Skills
Date of publication
1 March 2010
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business, Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Business and management
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This report has been produced as a follow-up to 'Over-indebtedness in Britain: A DTI report on the MORI Financial Services survey 2004' which examined consumer over-indebtedness in Great Britain using one of the largest surveys at the time. The results contained in this report are drawn from experimental statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics, covering the six months between July and December 2006. This was done to take advantage of greater survey coverage (almost 7,500 households, representing more than 15,000 individuals) and to improve the methodology for future reports. Evidence suggests that relatively few people could be considered to be 'over-indebted', with around three-quarters of households not meeting any over-indebtedness indicators and only 1% of households meeting 4 or more. In terms of arrears, only 1 in 15 households were in structural arrears (2 or more payments behind). Furthermore, only a small proportion of households appeared to be at risk from ‘over-indebtedness’ – assessed through the application of a 10% negative income ‘shock’ – with less than 1 in 250 households becoming over-indebted as a result. However, a larger proportion of people considered their debt repayments to be a burden, with around 2 in 15 households containing at least one person who considered an element of their credit commitments to be a heavy burden.  This report also finds that certain household characteristics seemed to be associated with being over-indebted: younger households, those with children under 16, or who have had a baby in the last 12 months seemed to be relatively more over-indebted than the population – this is not significantly different from previous findings.

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