Covid-19 was one of the top five causes of debt across the UK last year, new analysis revealed, as experts warn there is no clear route out of financial trouble for thousands.
People who faced unemployment or redundancy, health problems or cuts to their income were just as at risk of debt as in previous years, the figures showed – despite Government support measures – and remained the most prevalent drivers of debt and UK poverty.
But the types of people most likely to fall into debt changed during the pandemic, according to the StepChange report. The proportion of single adults without children facing money troubles and turning to the charity for help increased more than any other group, from 36 per cent in 2019 to nearly 45 per cent in 2020.
While this demographic is more commonly associated with younger adults, the charity said they had not seen an increase in people accessing their services under age 25, and had seen a five per cent slight increase in people aged 49-59.
However 18-39-year-olds still accounted for three in five – 58 per cent – of the charity’s clients.
“We all know what an unusual year 2020 was, and client statistics reinforce that,” said Phil Andrew, the charity’s chief executive.