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Falling behind to keep up
Over four million people in Great Britain struggling to keep up with bills and credit repayments have recently borrowed to make ends meet.
Using credit to pay for essentials causes harm, compounds financial difficulty and lowers living standards.
71% report a negative impact on their health, relationships or ability to work
65% have missed bills, asked for help from family or friends or endured hardship to keep up with repayments
51% are in problem debt
Practices in the credit market and design characteristics of products drive harms caused by safety net borrowing.
It is vital that people struggling with credit get effective help and support early but we found that only one in four of those struggling to keep up with credit repayments is in contact with their lender.
Worryingly, half of GB adults (53%) say that they would be reluctant to seek help with financial difficulty from a bank or credit firm due to low trust in firms to act in their interest, worries about credit reporting and embarrassment and stigma talking about financial difficulty.
The harm caused by the credit safety net arises from issues spanning regulatory and social policy and requires joined-up solutions.
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