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British Women Bingeing On Debt

According to a recent survey of 800 volunteers examining different attitudes towards debt undertaken by ICM, British women are now bingeing on debt. The ease with which most UK lenders are making credit available to Britons these days means that many of us are losing control of our finances. However, with British women delaying the age they get married and have children, and seeing the workforce as a career option, rather than a means to end, financial experts are now warning that the attitude that many women in the UK have towards their debt situation is as dangerous as those suffering from binge drinking or eating.

Although the number of British women now willing to go into debt may seem alarming, these are being backed up by raw data that is available. On average, women in the UK over the age of 35 owe 139% more in outstanding unsecured debt then UK men do. Excluding mortgages, British women owed an average £8,219 in unsecured debt. The comparable figure among men in the UK was £3,436.

The reasons why women in the UK were running up such large unsecured debt were varied. Nonetheless, two out of three women surveyed stated they worried over making their next credit card or loan repayment. Many also admitted they were afraid to inform others of the exact extent of their debt problems. Both of these are also common traits found with binge drinkers and eater – adding the analogy being drawn.

Worse news for British women was not only that they had higher average levels of unsecured personal credit card and loan debt than the equivalent male men, but on average most UK women were having to try to make repayment of their credit card and loan debt with marginally or significantly less earnings than UK men. As such, rather than looking for alternative means of consolidating their existing debt problems, the general trait among UK women was to try and ignore that the debt problem existed in the first place.

With the UK likely to reach epic proportions of personally bankruptcies in 2006, with some financial experts estimating that there will be a recorded 100,000 personal IVAs and bankruptcies in 2006, a number of UK credit card issuers and banks, such as Barclays, have decided to take matters into their own hands and refuse credit card and loan applications even where the applicant may not have a bad credit rating, if they are of the opinion that the applicant does not have the means to afford repayments.

While this may be a comforting step for UK credit card issuers and banks to take, the more immediate concern will be how these same UK credit card issuers and banks who freely loan unsecured debt to British women can now go about helping them to make repayment of their large amounts of personal debt without having to resort to harsh IVA or bankruptcy measures.

Richard Smith
30th October 2006


More Information:

  • General Loan Advice For Managing Debt
    Debt is a really easy thing to get stuck in. Even if you are not extravagant monthly costs can spiral out of control, especially if you take your eye off the ball. So what can you do to avoid getting too far into debt and if you are there already how can you get out of it?
  • Managing your debts
    It is easy for debt to get out of control. Student loans, losing your job, becoming ill or any number of other unforeseen events can easily cause debts to mount up.
  • Consolidating Debts with a Loan
    If it seems advertisements for debt consolidation loans are everywhere, it is because consolidated loans are big business. The primary reason for people taking out personal loans over the next year will be for debt consolidation.
  • Take a Holiday on Credit?
    Many people long for the perfect getaway, whether it is a day, two days, or two weeks. However, the idea of paying for that much-needed stress reducer is often enough to create more stress than the holiday reduces. To this end, some companies are offering holidays on credit.

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