The CAB has published a new piece of research on debt which focuses on their client base. The report is entitled, "A Life in Debt." Here are the headline findings:
"In July 2008, 52 Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales surveyed 1,407 new debt clients. We found that:
- On average CAB debt clients owed £16,971 in 2008, two thirds higher than in 2001.
- More than half of the clients in 2008 had four or more priority debts, such as mortgage or rent arrrears, fuel bills or council tax arrears.
- One client in ten had ten credit debts or more.
- Forty five per cent of the homeowners had mortgage or secured loans arrears in 2008, up from 30 per cent in 2004.
- Thirty per cent of the homeowners spent half or more of their monthly income on housing costs.
- Two thirds of the homeowners with mortgage or secured loans arrears were in priority need for rehousing.
- Forty three per cent of the CAB debt clients in 2008 were in fuel poverty because they spent more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel.
- Half of CAB debt clients were in water proverty because they spent more than three per cent of their income on water.
- More than half of the clients (58 per cent) had no spare money to pay their credit debts.
- Clients who had spare money to pay their debts would take on average 93 years to repay them in full.
- Nearly a third of CAB clients could be eligible for the debt relief order (DRO) a new alternative to bankruptcy which comes into force in April"
The report makes very interesting reading for policy makers and is another timely contribution from the CAB policy team.
Picture Credit: Citizens Advice Bureau, 2009.