According to research by PwC, unsecured consumer borrowing has risen by 4% this year alone, with figures showing that unsecured lending rose to £216bn in 2013 – up by £8.5bn – while the average amount of unsecured debt amounts to £8,159 per person.
This has no doubt added to the ever-increasing level of overall consumer debt, with UKconsumers being among the most indebted in the world. Similar research by the Centre for Social Justice found that average household debt has risen to £54,000 – almost double the figure of a decade ago. Whilst most of this can be attributed to mortgages, the report echoed that of PwC by finding that the level of unsecured personal debt has almost tripled in the last 20 years.
The combination of falling incomes and increases to the cost of living has inevitably led to this reliance on credit, but there are ways to get back on track – and it doesn't have to be through unsecured, and often more expensive, means.
Consolidating debt into one single form of credit would be the ideal choice, thereby offering a clear exit route whilst ensuring monthly repayments don't become unmanageable. There are a lot of fantastic rates currently available on personal loans so it's a great time to get in on the action (use our handy loan calculator to see the rates you could be eligible for and the kind of monthly repayments you could be left with).
Alternatively, credit cards with 0% interest periods can be a great option, particularly for those looking to fund their upcoming festive spend. Ideal for those with a smaller amount of debt, the balance can be transferred to a 0% card and, with careful management, could be paid off by the time the interest-free period ends. Check out our pick of the top interest-free credit cards to see what suits your needs and lifestyle.
Of course, some of the best loan and credit card rates will only be available to those with a stellar credit history, but it's worth checking out the options to see if current levels of debt could become more manageable.
Compare repayments and interest with our easy-to-use loan calculator
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