HomeResources17 of the Most Revealing UK Debt Statistics for 2022

17 of the Most Revealing UK Debt Statistics for 2022

Last updated 28th Nov 2022
Disclosure

Be it government or personal, debt is a global issue that has been around for years. This article covers the latest debt statistics for the UK and provides valuable insights into the country’s different types of debt, including government debt, personal debt, mortgages, and credit cards. We did the number-crunching for you, so our statistics are easy to read and understand.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the most relevant data on British debt you need to know this year.

Top 10 Debt Statistics for the UK

  • The UK government’s general gross debt for the first quarter of 2022 is £2.3 trillion.

  • The grand total of the personal debt owed by the British population as of June 2022 is £1.8 trillion.

  • The average household in the UK owes £64,970 of personal debt.

  • The average personal debt of British adults is £34,140.

  • 10.98 million households in the UK have an outstanding mortgage debt as of 2022.

  • There were 63,800 approvals for house purchasing just in July 2022 in the UK.

  • The annual growth of credit card borrowing in the UK reached 13% in July 2022.

  • 24.60% of British consumers say they use credit cards to cover their costs of living.

  • 11% of British consumers say they are using credit cards, loans, and overdrafts more than usual.

  • 3% of UK adults report borrowing over £10,000 more in 2022 than in 2021.

UK Government Debt Statistics

The UK government’s general gross debt for the first quarter of 2022 is £2.3 trillion.

The above figure is equivalent to 99.6% of the country’s GDP. Moreover, the deficit of the UK’s general government for the same period is £15.8 billion, which is equivalent to 2.6% of its GDP. Historical data suggests that this is the first time since Q3 2020 that the general government debt doesn’t exceed 100% of the country’s GDP. Additionally, the general government deficit is at its lowest since Q1 2020.

(ONS)

The UK’s general government deficit as a percentage of GDP, at 7.9%, was the second-highest at the end of 2021.

According to the G7 debt statistics, the USA was the only member with a higher general government deficit to GDP ratio, with 10.2%. At the same time, the UK still had a 0.5 percentage point lower ratio than the G7 average of 8.4%. The UK’s current 2.6% deficit to GDP ratio is also lower than the EU average of 3.1%.

(ONS)

The current UK general government debt is 11.8 percentage points higher than the average government debt of EU member states.

EU debt statistics for 2022 show that the average general government debt for the 27 states of the European Union is 87.8% of their GDPs. The only EU member states with a higher general government debt to GDP ratio are Cyprus, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece. Moreover, comparisons with the countries from the G7 from 2021 show that the UK’s general government debt to GDP ratio was the second-lowest, only higher than Germany’s, which was 70.2%. The average general government debt for the countries in the G7 was equivalent to 137.3% of their GDPs.

(ONS)

Statistics on Personal Debt in the UK

The grand total of the personal debt owed by the British population as of June 2022 is £1,8 trillion.

The lion’s share of the above amount, or £1.6 trillion, is secured mortgage debt, while £203.9 billion is unsecured consumer debt. Credit card debt accounts for more than a fourth of the unsecured consumer debt, or £62.0 billion. The statistics also show that the total personal debt in the UK had increased by £62.5 billion compared to the number from 2021, when the UK’s total personal debt was £1.7 trillion.

(The Money Charity)

The average household in the UK owes £64,970 of personal debt.

Household debt statistics for the UK also reveal that the average British household owes £57,633 of secured debt, including mortgages. In addition, the average household in the UK has £7,337 in unsecured personal debt, £2,229 of which is credit card debt. Furthermore, the data suggests that the average British household pays £1,721 of interest annually, which accounts for 2.87% of its yearly income. Finally, the future projections show that the average total household debt in the United Kingdom will reach £85,906 by 2025.

(The Money Charity)

The average personal debt of British adults is £34,140.

Data on the average personal debt in the UK also reveals that the above figure is higher than the average yearly income of UK adults, or more precisely, it accounts for 108.4% of their annual earnings. The latest data also suggests that the average Briton owes £30,285 in mortgages and £3,855 in unsecured consumer debt. Furthermore, only £1,171 of their total personal debt is credit card debt. Lastly, British consumers pay an annual average of £904 in interest on their debts. Collectively, British adults pay £131 million worth of interest per day and £47,839 million per year.

(The Money Charity)

There were 115,285 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the 12 months leading up to June 2022.

UK debt statistics show that there were 29,709 individual insolvencies in these two countries just in the three-month period between April and June of 2022. The data indicates a 5.3% increase compared to the 28,223 insolvencies in the same period in 2021. Crunching these numbers shows us that an average of 327 people went insolvent every day, or one person went insolvent every four minutes and 25 seconds in England and Wales between April and June of 2022.

(The Money Charity)

In Northern Ireland, there were 134 individual insolvencies only in June 2022.

Debt data for the UK suggests that an average of 4.5 people from Northern Ireland went insolvent every day in the same month. However, the data also shows that the individual insolvencies in Northern Ireland between April and June 2022 were 24.5% lower than the same period in the previous year. Individual insolvencies were on the rise in Scotland, on the other hand, where 1,894 personal insolvencies were recorded between January and March of 2022. This number is 12.9% higher than the number of insolvencies in the same period of the year before.

(The Money Charity)

UK Mortgage Debt Statistics

10.98 million households in the UK have an outstanding mortgage debt as of 2022.

The data reveals that the total outstanding mortgage debt in the UK has increased by £56.1 billion, from £1.54 trillion in 2021 to £1.6 trillion in 2022. Additionally, the average mortgage interest rate for households with outstanding debt was 2.12% at the end of June 2022, which means they will pay an average interest of £3,093 over the year. The interest rate for new buyers, however, is slightly higher at 2.16%, so the average UK mortgage debt interest for first-time buyers will be £3,983.

(The Money Charity)

There were 63,800 approvals for house purchasing just in July 2022 in the UK.

Even though the above figure indicates a slight increase compared to the 63,200 approvals in the previous month, historical data shows that the numbers are still well below the pre-pandemic average of 66,800 approvals in February 2020. The approvals for remortgaging, however, are getting closer to their numbers from before COVID. There were 48,400 approvals for remortgaging in July, considerably more than the 43,300 recorded in June and only slightly fewer than the 49,500 in February 2020, as per the latest UK personal debt stats.

(Bank of England)

29.3% of UK homeowners who are buying their house with a mortgage are aged between 35 and 44.

Another 28.7% of them are aged between 45 and 54, which means collectively, adults between 35 and 54 account for more than half, or 58%, of the homeowners who buy their houses with a mortgage in the UK. Additionally, 22.5% of the mortgage buyers are aged between 25 and 34, 13.7% are between 55 and 64, 4.4% are older than 65, and only 1.4% are between 16 and 24.

(Statista)

Statistics on UK Credit Card Debt

The average credit card spend in the UK reached £753 in May 2022.

The statistics from previous years show that the UK average credit card spending has been steadily increasing, from £476 in May 2020 to £651 in May 2021, before it reached £753 in May 2022. Additionally, the average credit card balance of British consumers is currently £1,555, which is a 5.5% increase from the year before, while the average credit limit is £5,500, indicating a 2.7% year-on-year increase. The latest statistics on credit card debt in the UK also show that 1.45% of all accounts missed a single payment, while 0.24% missed two and 0.16% missed three payments.

(FICO)

The annual growth of credit card borrowing in the UK reached 13% in July 2022.

The stats suggest that this is the highest annual growth rate of credit card borrowing in the country since October 2005, when it was 13.7%. Moreover, UK consumers borrowed £1.8 billion in June and £1.4 billion in July, which is considerably higher than the pre-pandemic average of £1 billion reported in February 2020. Data on UK consumer debt also shows that the additional £1.4 billion borrowed in July was evenly split between £700 million on credit cards and £700 million on other types of consumer credit such as car dealerships and personal loans.

(Bank of England)

24.60% of British consumers say they use credit cards to cover their costs of living.

The use of credit cards to cover living necessities is the most common among Britons aged between 25 and 34, 36.09% of which cite this as the main reason they use their cards. Additionally, data on unsecured debt in the UK reveals that 29.81% of British consumers cover their day-to-day expenses, such as groceries, with their credit cards. By region, using credit cards to cover the costs of living is the most common in Northern Ireland, where 37% of the consumers say they feel the need to rely on credit cards for everyday life purchases.

(Credit-Connect)

UK Borrowing Statistics and Demographics

20% of British adults reported having to borrow money or use credit in April 2022.

A recent survey on personal debt in the UK reveals that 26% of Britons used their savings to cover their living costs. Additionally, 28% say they struggled to pay their bills, while 8% struggled to pay for their housing. By age, the largest percentage, or 23%, of the people who say they had to use credit or borrow money are from the 30 to 49 age group, while 30% of those who say they struggled to pay their bills are between 50 and 69 years old.

(ONS)

11% of British consumers say they are using credit cards, loans, and overdrafts more than usual.

The statistics on consumer debt in the UK show that, at 13%, women are more likely to say they are using credit more usual than men, 10% of whom agree with this statement. The increased usage of credit is the most common among consumers between 30 and 49 years of age, 16% of whom say that this is the case. In comparison, 14% of Britons between 16 and 29, 9% between 50 and 69, and only 4% of those over 70 say they use credit more than usual.

(ONS)

3% of UK adults report borrowing over £10,000 more in 2022 than they did in 2021.

UK personal debt statistics further reveal that 2% of British consumers borrowed between £5,000 and £9,999 more, and 6% between £3,000 and £4,999 more this year compared to the previous. Additionally, borrowing for 3% of the consumers has grown by between £2,000 and £2,999, for 12% between £1,000 and £1,999, and 6% of the consumers borrowed between £750 and £999 more in 2022 than they did in 2021. Finally, 11% borrowed between £500 and £749 more, 21% between £250 and £499 more, and 26% borrowed up to £250 more this year than the last.

(ONS)

FAQs on the UK Debt Statistics

How many people are in debt in the UK?

According to the latest findings, from July 2022, 36% or more than 10 million households in the UK are facing financial difficulties. While the larger part of them, 5.7 million, don’t describe their hardships as severe, 4.4 million UK households are seriously struggling to make ends meet.

(Bristol)

How much does the average UK person owe?

As of June 2022, the average person in the UK owes £34,140 of total personal debt, including mortgages, unsecured and credit card debt.

(The Money Charity)

What's the average credit card debt in the UK?

The latest debt statistics for the UK reveal that the average credit card debt in the United Kingdom is £1,171 per adult and £2,229 per household.

(The Money Charity)

How much debt does the average household have in the UK?

The average total personal debt per household in the UK is £64,970.

(The Money Charity)

The Summary

While the general government deficit is at its lowest since the beginning of 2020, personal debt in the United Kingdom is on the rise, with mortgages accounting for the highest portion of it. High mortgage debt leads to an increase in credit card spending, which people rely on to cover their living costs. The chain reaction continues with an increase in borrowing and overdrafts, adding up to a vicious cycle of loans and debt.

Sources:

Darko Jacimovic

Darko Jacimovic

With over six years of writing experience, Darko is a prolific writer in multiple industries including finance, and technology. Acquiring a BA in English pushed him to pursue his lifelong dream to conquer the internet and engage with the personal finance space. While looking for his next travel destination, Darko developed impeccable research skills that helped him craft some of the most popular finance stats pages on the World Wide Web.