1 in 20 'couldn't live without borrowing'

Over 4% of UK adults claim they couldn’t get by without some form of credit, according to new research from thinkmoney.

The research found that, while almost two thirds of us (64%) borrow in one way or another, 4.3% - around 2.1 million people - claim they need credit to get by.

When asked about their attitude to borrowing, only 10% said they are “relaxed” about it and view it as a normal part of modern life. A further 20% said that, although they feel the need to borrow, they don’t like to do it. Almost a quarter (23%) of people said they do all they can to avoid borrowing money, and 7% said they are “scared of being in debt”.

Certain generational differences were highlighted in the findings. Of those aged 55 and over, just 43% said they borrow money, compared to 81% of respondents aged between 25 and 34. One possible explanation for this could be that people in the younger age group are at a stage in their lives where they are borrowing to pay for their first home, whereas older people have had the time to pay off most of their debt and no longer rely on it.

Ian Williams of thinkmoney commented on the findings:

“Rather than something to be scared of, credit can be very useful – if used responsibly. It can help people build up a good credit record and take important steps in their lives, like buying a home.

“However, to learn that one in 20 people can’t cope without borrowing money is very worrying. An over reliance on credit can lead to serious financial difficulties and problem debt.

“Careful budgeting can help make managing your money easier, so that when you do borrow there’s less risk of you being unable to repay it.”