Southerners least likely to have debts

Southerners are the least likely to have unsecured debts according to research from online credit report service MyCallcredit.

But Southerners who do have debts are more likely than anywhere else in the country to be out of their depth and not know how much of their monthly income they will be spending in a year's time to service their debts.

Overall the five out of ten Southerners with debts say they are comfortable.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"The majority of Southerners don't have debts but of those who do more are out of their depth than anywhere else in the country. They need to get help to manage their finances now before the situation gets any worse

The industry also needs to do its bit by continuing to develop more responsible lending practices, like introducing true affordability checks at the time a credit application is made.

And individuals need to take stock of their overall financial position to make sure they are applying for credit responsibly."

Key Findings
  • 46.2 per cent of Southerners have unsecured debts like credit and store cards compared to a national average of 60.2 per cent.
  • Of the Southerners who have debts 93.5 per cent are comfortable with them compared to 92.7 per cent nationally.
  • 2.3 per cent of Southerners said they were out of depth with their debts compared to 1.6 per cent in Scotland and 0.7 per cent nationally.
  • 11.6 per cent of Southerners haven't got a clue how much they owe in comparison to 19.9 per cent across the UK.
  • The Department of Trade and Industry considers anyone who is paying 25 per cent or more of their income to service unsecured debts overindebted.
  • 2.9 per cent of Southerners are paying more than 30 per cent of their monthly income to service unsecured debts compared to 9.5 per cent in London and a UK average of 5.2 per cent.
  • 43.2 per cent of Southerners don't know how much of their income will be used to service unsecured debt repayments in a year's time compared to 17.6 per cent across the UK.
Editors notes
  1. The research was carried out for MyCallcredit by NEMS market research among 1001 adults between 18 May and 25 May 2006.