Average household debt in Burnley up by 25% since 2014

The average Burnley household's borrowing increased by 25%.
The average Burnley household's borrowing increased by 25%.
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The average Burnley household's borrowing increased by 25% over the last five years, following the national trend of people taking on more new credit card and car financing debt.

The TUC has warned that household debts are at "crisis level", blaming austerity and slow wage growth for increasing the burden after UK Finance figures showed that the average Burnley household borrowed around £1,253 in unsecured debt between April and June last year, the most recent period for which figures are available.

The figure, which does not include secured loans such as mortgages, means households borrowed roughly £250 more than during the same three months in 2013 and that the area collectively took on an additional £43.1 million in loans including credit card debt, car finance schemes, and bank loans.

However, unsecured borrowing was down 7% compared to the same period in 2017 and levels of borrowing in Burnley were slightly lower than across the North West in general, where the average household took on £1,315 in unsecured debts between April and June 2018.

The figures also reveal in the difference in borrowing across Burnley: in the BB12 postcode area, households borrowed an average of £1,453, 23% more than the average £1,178 in BB10. Across the UK, households borrowed an average of £1,378 in unsecured debts, with those in the South East and London generally taking on more than in other parts of the country.

The average amount borrowed in the last five years has increased by nearly 20%, with the TUC saying its own analysis suggested that unsecured debt levels reached new highs in 2018, equivalent to £15,385 per household in the third quarter of the year.

Unsecured debt as a share of household income is now more than 30%, the highest it has ever been, and above the level it reached in 2008 ahead of the financial crisis, said the TUC, with Frances O'Grady TUC General Secretary adding: "Household debt is at crisis level. Years of austerity and wage stagnation has pushed millions of families deep into the red.

"The Government is skating on thin ice by relying on household debt to drive growth. A strong economy needs people spending wages, not credit cards and loans,"Frances added. "Our economy is not working for workers. They need stronger rights and bargaining powers."