The North West has the UK's second-highest percentage of people currently living with debts hanging over them according to a new study, which revealed that only Greater London is home to a larger proportion of people who are slowly paying off finances owed every month.
According to data collected by comparison website KnowYourMoney.co.uk, 65% of those living in the North West currently owe money (compared to 69% of Londoners), with some 29% of those in debt in the slightly perilous position of not feeling in control of their money and not having a clear plan of how they are going to pay their debts off.
In fact, 40% of those in the North West actually say that their debts keep them up at night, perhaps in some way as a result of the stat that shows 67% of people have no money in savings to help pay off the more urgent debts, with credit cards (35%), mortgages (24%), and student loans (11%) making up the majority of finances owed.
“Despite the negative connotations that sometimes surround it, debt should not be frowned upon," said John Ellmore, Director of KnowYourMoney.co.uk. "If handled responsibly, debt is a valuable financial instrument that can help enable life’s purchases, however, today’s research demonstrates that there are millions of people across the UK who are taking on debt without a plan of how to repay it, which is unadvisable.
"It’s vital consumers understand what their debt-to-income ratio is and manage their finances accordingly – this will help them sleep easier at night and avoid serious financial repercussions further down the line," John added.
Perhaps explaining why so many get into debt, a third of people in the UK who are in debt say that they routinely buy items on their credit card without first thinking about how they will pay it off, but when it comes to asking for help and discussing cash-flow problems, the North West is at least the most open region in the UK, with just 34% saying that they would not discuss money.
With Brexit looming - some 55% of the population are concerned over the impact of Brexit on their finances - KnowYourMoney.co.uk has launched a new online resource called We Need to Talk About Debt to help people manage their debt effectively and get to grips with their debt-to-income ratio, which is their monthly debt payments divided by their gross monthly income and a formula often used by lenders to calculate someone's viability for credit.