Average personal debt in the UK

What are the typical debt levels for people living in the UK?

Debt can have a significant impact on people’s daily lives. With the ongoing economic uncertainty surrounding the cost of living crisis, many people are looking at consolidating their debt, whether through personal loans, balance transfer credit cards or remortgaging, and lowering the interest they’re paying. We explore the latest personal debt statistics in the UK.

Debt statistics UK: Highlights

  • The average debt per person in the UK is estimated to be £34,737 as of November 2023, more than 100% of average yearly earnings in the UK.
  • The average credit card debt per person in the UK is £1,295 as of November 2023.
  • The average credit card debt per household in 2023 is £2,452, the highest in 4 years.
  • The average total household debt in the UK is £65,795 as of November 2023.
  • The annual interest accumulated on debt has increased by 59% between November 2021 and November 2023, going from an average of £841 to £1,341 per person.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau helped 46,690 people with debt in November 2023.
  • 22% of those sought advice for energy debt and 20% sought help with council tax arrears.

What is the average debt per person in the UK?

The average debt per person in the UK is £34,737 as of November 2023, which has risen by £2,797 since November 2020. This debt is equivalent to 100.5% of the average UK yearly earnings. The average debt for a household in the same period is recorded as £65,795.

Month Average debt per person Average debt per household
November 2023 £34,737 £65,795
November 2022 £34,636 £65,914
November 2021 £33,169 £63,122
November 2020 £31,940 £60,720
November 2019 £31,643 £59,982

What is the average credit card debt in the UK?

The average credit card debt per person is £1,295 as of November 2023, the highest since November 2019. This has increased by 7.65% year-on-year. For a UK household, the average credit card debt totals £2,452.

Month Average credit card debt per person Average credit card debt per household
November 2023 £1,295 £2,452
November 2022 £1,203 £2,290
November 2021 £1,099 £2,118
November 2020 £1,122 £2,133
November 2019 £1,367 £2,591

What is the total personal debt in the UK?

Total personal debt in the UK reached £1.85 trillion in November 2023, and this number has been growing steadily over time. The debt owed in the UK has increased by around 11% since November 2019, up from a total of £1.67 billion.

Month Total debt UK Total credit card debt UK
November 2023 £1,847.6 billion £68.9 billion
November 2022 £1,831.9 billion £63.6 billion
November 2021 £1,754.3 billion £58.9 billion
November 2020 £1,692.5 billion £59.4 billion
November 2019 £1,669 billion £72.1 billion

What is the total credit card debt in the UK?

The total credit card debt in the UK was £68.9 billion in November 2023, growing by £5.3 billion from November 2022. The total credit card debt owed in the UK has fluctuated over time, but is lower than November 2019, when UK residents owed a total of £72.1 billion in credit card debt.

What is the average interest paid on debt in the UK?

As of November 2023, the average Brit accumulated £1,341 in interest over a year. This has increased by 59% since November 2021, when the average annual interest was just £841, showing the impact of rising interest rates.

Indeed, the UK as a whole accumulated £71.3 billion in interest annually as of November 2023, compared to £44.5 billion in November 2021.

How many people are insolvent or bankrupt?

In the period between August and October 2023, 279 were declared insolvent or bankrupt each day in England and Wales. This is the equivalent of one person every 5 minutes and 9 seconds. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, there were 4 insolvencies per day and, in Scotland, there were 22.3 insolvencies per day.

How many people are in debt in the UK?

The Citizens Advice Bureau helped 46,690 people with debt in November 2023. This is the highest number seeking advice since 2018 and the numbers have increased since May 2020 after dipping during the coronavirus pandemic, likely due to more limited access to services.

What are the most common types of debt?

Among those seeking debt advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the most common source of debt was energy bills in November 2023, with 22% needing help with this. This was followed by council tax arrears, as 20% sought advice in this area.

Other common reasons for seeking debt advice include rent arrears (14%), credit card debt (11%), water debt (9%) and mortgage debt (2%).

Type of debt People requesting help - November 2023 Percentage
Energy debt 10,220 21.89%
Council tax arrears 9,201 19.71%
Rent arrears 6,622 14.18%
Credit card debt 5285 11.32%
Water debt 4,323 9.26%
Mortgage debt 1055 2.26%

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