ALMOST half UK consumers believe that it is too easy to get into debt, according to research carried out by TDX Group.
The survey, which was carried out by Gorkana and TDX – which is part of consumer credit reporting agency Equifax – found that 45 per cent of consumers thought accessing debt was too easy. In addition, 20 per cent agreed that banks and other lenders should be stricter about consumer lending.
“Personal debt is continuously on the up in the UK and its increasingly important consumers are aware of their debt levels, only taking on loans they can afford to repay,” said Richard Haymes, head of financial difficulties at TDX Group.
“The high number of consumers who think it’s too easy to become saddled with high levels of debt, illustrates banks and other lenders still have their work cut out to ensure they only lend to those who can afford it.”
The survey also found that 83 per cent of UK consumers would not be willing to pay a monthly fee to benefit from lower fees for overdrafts and overseas spending. And almost half said they would not pay any fee at all because they thought bank accounts should be free.
A quarter of consumers with a current loan view unexpected bills as the biggest threat to managing payments, while 20 per cent see increased living costs as the main risk. And if their debt was to become unmanageable, 27 per cent of people said they would turn to their friends and family for help.
“The responsibility to limit debt must also fall on the individual,” said Haymes. “Education is essential; although it’s encouraging consumers recognise that repayments exceeding 10 per cent of their monthly income would be difficult to manage, many need to rethink their spending priorities to better manage their debt.”