In too deep?

The impact of the cost of living crisis on household debt


Hard economic times and rising interest rates have brought a renewed focus on household debt in recent years, with concerns that more and more families could find themselves overwhelmed by the burden of debt. So this briefing note takes a closer look at the use of consumer debt (such as credit cards, personal loans and … Continued

Arrears fears

The distribution of UK household wealth and the impact on families


The defining economic challenge for UK families at the moment is the cost of living crisis, rising inflation threatens living standards in the UK as real incomes fall. Owning wealth helps protect against the adverse effects, particularly for those who can rely on savings. Therefore, the current crisis has thrown wealth inequality into the spotlight. … Continued

Universal Credit
Household debt

The debts that divide us

Flash findings from a survey of families claiming Universal Credit


The surge in claims for Universal Credit (UC) when the pandemic first hit means that UC caseloads are now about twice as high as they were pre-pandemic, with over half of all single parents now in receipt of UC.  About 60 per cent of the current caseload have newly-claimed UC during 2020, and the fraction … Continued

Rainy days

An audit of household wealth and the initial effects of the coronavirus crisis on saving and spending in Great Britain


Families in Great Britain are faced with the most severe economic contraction in more than 100 years. Much of the immediate focus among policy makers has been on the size and distribution of falls in families’ incomes but household wealth, both savings and debt, will play a hugely important role in shaping how far families’ … Continued

An outstanding balance?

Inequalities in the use – and burden – of consumer credit in the UK


As the 2010s drew to a close, both policymakers and the press raised concerns about rising levels of UK household debt, with some warning it could soon bring about the next recession. Although household debt levels remain high in absolute terms, when compared against total household income they are substantially below levels reached during the … Continued

An unhealthy interest? Debt distress and the consequences of raising rates


Consumer borrowing has been surging over recent months, raising fears that we are storing up more debt-fuelled problems for tomorrow. This note digs into the numbers and focuses on who is taking out all the credit. We consider also how the profile of the UK’s household debt will stand up to increasing interest rates in the coming years.

Mortgaged Future: Modelling household debt affordability and access to re-financing as interest rates rise


One in ten of today’s mortgagors risk being imprisoned by borrowing deals which are likely to make their repayments unaffordable as interest rates rise over the next four years. Around 770,000 households are both at risk of being ‘mortgage prisoners’ due to a limited ability to switch to better mortgage deals and therefore insulate themselves against future rate rises, and at risk of being ‘highly geared’ where monthly mortgage repayments are eating up at least one third of their disposable income by 2018.

Closer to the edge? Debt repayments in 2018 under different household income and borrowing cost scenarios


Britain faces the mounting prospect of a household debt crisis as analysis from the Resolution Foundation suggests that a least a million British families, and possibly as many as 2 million, could be spending more than half their disposable income on repayments by 2018 The study uses the latest five-year growth projections from the Office … Continued

Closer to the Edge? Prospects for household debt repayments as interest rates rise


The number of families in Britain with perilous levels of debt repayments could more than double to 1.2 million if interest rates rise faster than expected in the next four years and household income growth is weak and uneven. The figures suggest that the ongoing squeeze on households could leave Britain seriously exposed if interest … Continued

On borrowed time? Dealing with household debt in an era of stagnant incomes


On borrowed time? examines how and why household debt grew in the pre-crisis years, before turning to study the current scale and distribution of exposure to debt across households. Finally, the report looks at the link between household debt and prospects for economic growth, setting out a range of broad policy considerations that will frame our … Continued

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