The average UK adult had £34,653 of unsecured debt at the end of 2022, a 4% increase on the previous year. Around half of people experiencing problem debt live with mental ill-health. Research suggests a two-way relationship, as people with mental health issues may experience income reduction or find it harder to make financial decisions.

This briefing will outline current trends in consumer debt and evidence for how financial and mental well-being implicate each other. It will summarise the effects of different types of debt (including mortgages, credit card debt and payday loans), and identify factors that increase vulnerability to debt and mental health related issues. This briefing will also outline policy approaches for support and intervention, particularly in the context of the rising cost of living.

Work on this briefing will commence in May 2023.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

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