A recent report by a leading debt charity stated nearly 2.5 million children are living in families with ‘problem debt’.

The report, titled ‘The Debt Trap’ is backed by the Archbishop of York and relates to a survey of 2000 UK households with dependant children and a further 4500 participants who took part in an online questionnaire.

The survey indicated ‘problem debt’ currently affects nearly 1 in 5 households.  If that figure is extrapolated over the country then it would suggest 1.4 million families across the UK with 2.4 million dependant children were in ‘problem debt’.  The survey’s finding would suggest that a further 2.9 million households with dependant children are on the brink of sliding into financial difficulties and have been struggling to keep up with payment of household bills or credit over the past year.  The report highlights the fact that loans and credit have been taken on by such families to cover their existing credit payments.

The report goes on to give a snapshot of how debt is affecting the dependant children in such families.  It states that the children face bullying at school and often go without essentials, due to their family’s financial difficulties.  More than half said they felt embarrassed by their lack of money.

The report then goes on to give an opinion of what changes or practical interventions can be made with the help of the government to help debt ridden families.  It calls on the government to review the case for tighter restrictions on loan adverting seen by children. Further, it suggests that there should be a review of the protection given to families with children against debt enforcement, which includes potential harm caused by house repossessions and subsequent evictions and bailiff action in particular.  It is easy to see why such enforcement action could have a detrimental effect on the mental health and stress levels of such families with dependant children.

The report was accurately encapsulated by the Chief Executive of Step Change who stated “this report is a stark warning to policy makers, creditors and the wider society of the devastating effects of debt on children”.

If you are struggling to keep up with payments, or feel that your debt problems are spiraling out of control, there are a number of routes our insolvency solicitors are able to advise you on. We offer a free consultation to advise you of your options free of charge. Contact our insolvency lawyers today to find out more.