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Britons keep financial woes a secret

Britons keep financial woes a secret

Category: Debt

Updated: 08/03/2011
First Published: 01/09/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Britons finding themselves in financial difficulties are choosing to keep their problems a secret from their providers.

The financial crisis and following recession has hit many consumers hard, with widespread job losses or workers being asked to take pay cuts or reduce their hours.

And it is estimated that the downturn has hit almost two thirds of people in the UK, with 65% of consumers experiencing some sudden change in their financial situation, with numbers rising to 74% for those with children.

However, rather than inform their providers about their unwelcome change in circumstances, almost seven in ten (69%) people suffering from financial pressures over the last two years have never spoken to their banks or building societies.

Furthermore, the 31% that do seek advice from their provider take an average of two months to do so, according to Callcredit Information Group.

Just 8% of people took the step of informing their provider of their problems immediately after their financial situation changed.

It is recommended that people make their bank or building society aware of any major changes to their finances as soon as possible.

Customers could find that their provider can restructure their plans to make them more affordable in the short term, while simply talking through the problem and the available options can help to take some of the stress out of the situation.

"These figures are extremely worrying," said Graham Lund, managing director of Callcredit.

"What's particularly concerning is the number of people who fail to make their bank aware of sudden changes in their financial situation - and those that do get in touch aren't always completely honest.

"It's therefore extremely important that financial service providers use information and tools available to proactively monitor any changes in their consumers' financial situation and have sight of the bigger picture."

As well as talking to your provider, debt advice specialists such as the CCCS will offer free and impartial advice to those with debt problems.

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