How much debt is the UK in?
Debt can have a significant impact on people’s lives, and on a country’s development as well – you have to take it into account every time you’re budgeting for something, planning a holiday or a new project.
With the UK finding its feet after the financial crash of 2007/08, many people are looking at consolidating their debt – whether though secured loans, balance transfer credit cards or remortgaging – and lowering the interest they’re paying. We explore how much debt the UK is in – both as a country and as individuals. Are we out of our depth or are we staying above water?
How much debt is the UK in?
- £1.637 trillion is owed by individuals in the UK (June 2019)
- On average every Brit spent £967 on interest alone last year
- 350 people are declared bankrupt every day in the UK
- £31,232 average debt per adult in the UK (June 2019)
- There is over £1.8 trillion public sector debt in the UK (June, 2019)
- This is equal to 83.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Average debt of £31,232 per adult, is 112% of average earnings.
Personal debt statistics
Personal debt is the money owed by individuals, it could be from a mortgage, credit card or short term loan for example. We looked into how much is owed by the UK population.
|Year||Total debt (trillion)|
How much interest is being paid on debt?
These stats show just how much interest is costing the UK.
- Total interest payments on personal debt is over £50 billion based on April 2019 trends
- Borrowers paid £139 million in interest a day in April 2019
- Per household that is an average of £1,849 in annual interest repayments alone
- Per person that is an average of £967 a year in interest repayments
Annual interest repayments of £967 represents 3.5% of average earnings.
How big is consumer credit lending in the UK?
Consumer credit lending is the amount of borrowing done on credit – but can we afford to pay it back?
- £217 billion outstanding consumer credit lending at the end of April 2019.
- Up from £207.1 billion in December 2017.
- Total credit card debt in June 2019 was £72.7 billion, up from £70.1 billion in December 2017
- Per household this is £2,653 of credit card debt alone.
26 years and 9 months
To pay back average credit card debt bearing the average interest, at the minimum repayment each month, it would take 26 years and 9 months, 6 months longer than in 2017.
Consumer credit lending in the UK from 2012-2018
|Year (Dec)||Debt (Billions)|
How big of a problem is debt to individuals in the UK?
- 350 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt every day
- Citizens Advice Bureaux dealt with 2,527 new debt problems every day in the year (May 2019)
- 15 properties are repossessed every day
- 1,213 people a day reported they had become redundant between January and March (2019)
4 minutes 7 seconds
Every 4 minutes a person is declared insolvent/bankrupt in the UK.
National debt statistics
National debt is the debt owed by the government of a country, as a result of a budget deficit. This is where government spending exceeds government revenue, often resulting in government borrowing.
|Year||Net Debt (excluding public sector banks) as a % of GDP|
How does this debt compare to other countries
This level of debt may seem worryingly high, but how does the UK compare to other countries around the world?
- Japan have the highest level of debt as a percentage of GDP – at 236.6%
- Greece has a debt of 176.9% of its GDP
- The UK sits 28th in the world for highest debt/GDP ratio
Borrowing money often incurs interest, even as a government. So how much is interest on the national debt costing the UK?
- In 2018/19, £48.7 billion was spent on interest repayments
- This amounts to 2.3% of the UK’s GDP
- 2017/18 represented the largest interest repayment of £55 billion
|Year||£ Billion||% of GDP|
- The Money Charity
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