HARD-UP Brits have an extra £2,000 in debt due to coronavirus, new research suggests.
Households owe £1,076 more on on bills, while they’ve wracked up £997 extra in debt, says Stepchange.
The debt charity is warning about a “personal debt tsunami’ worth £6billion due to the pandemic hitting 4.6million households.
It estimates that 1.2million people have fallen behind on utility bills, 820,000 on council tax and 590,000 on rent.
It claims these figures represent the situation in late May and are likely to increase substantially before lockdown is fully phased out.
Worryingly 70 per cent of those now affected were not in financial difficulty before lockdown.
StepChange Debt Charity CEO Phil Andrew said: “We were already dealing with a debt crisis, but Covid has so far added another four million people and counting to the number who are going to need help finding their way back to financial health.
“With £6 billion of additional household debt directly attributable to the effects of the pandemic, this is a problem that isn’t going to solve itself.”
It is calling on the government for a plan to help people behind on debts repay bills, extra grants to help those who cannot recover and changes to Universal Credit.
Specifically it wants the government to reduce the five-week wait and make advance payments grants – not loans.
HOAR has been calling on the government to reduce the five-week wait with out Make Universal Credit Work campaign.
Today the government announced an extra £38million for funding debt advice and help.
Struggling households have been warned about “quick fix” promises from loan sharks.
While Martin Lewis has called on the government to change rules around debt letters, which could make people suicidal.