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Research carried out by Virgin Money has found that eight million people have sought some form of help for their debts during the Coronavirus crisis.
Despite attempts by many families to pay down their debts during lockdown, Britain’s outstanding consumer loan figure now stands at £220Billion. This figure may raise fears of a growing debt bubble.
More than 4,000 people were surveyed by Virgin Money to help understand the state of the nation’s finances as schemes aimed at helping people through the crisis begin to be wound down.
The research found that one in eight people had called their bank for help in the form of payment holidays on Mortgages, personal loans and credit cards as well as overdrafts.
The research also found that 25% of people who had been furloughed have asked the bank for help, whilst 15% of people who were still employed have requested assistance. The number of people who were still employed requesting assistance could be a sign that they were already in financial trouble before the Coronavirus crisis took hold. 42% of business owners have also sought support from their bank.
Households paid down debt of nearly £7.5billion in April – the largest fall ever recorded by the Bank of England – at a time when their outgoings were reduced substantially. Economists estimate consumers repaid £2.4billion in May.
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