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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 03:07 GMT 04:07 UK
One in four Britons 'in debt'
Female shoppers
Most blamed credit cards for their debts
A quarter of Britons have some form of debt other than their mortgage, research has suggested.

Nearly a third blamed credit card spending for their slide into the red.

But the survey also suggested a picture of debt becoming a way of life in Britain, beginning in university and dogging many people for the rest of their working lives.

According to the survey by home loan company The Mortgage Lender, 29% of people blamed their debt on credit card spending.

This rose to 34% among women.

A quarter of respondents said putting themselves through university had landed them in debt, with nearly a third of men saying this was the cause of their problems.

'Blind eye'

But 16% of people said they were in debt because it had been too easy to borrow money.

WHY ARE WE IN DEBT?
Credit cards: 29%
University: 25%
Debt 'too easy': 16%
Household bills: 12%
Missing payments: 7%
Source: Mortgage Lender survey

About 12% of people said their problems were a result of household bills, while 7% said their debts had mounted up after they missed one or more of their repayments.

Tim Kirby, managing director of The Mortgage Lender, said the suggestion that people were letting debts accumulate to fund their lifestyle were "concerning".

"While borrowing may be cheap at the moment, people will pay the price if they let the debt pile up.

"It is easy to turn a blind eye to your finances, particularly if you are in debt, but ignoring the problem won't solve it.

"However, with careful budgeting and monitoring of bills and repayments, long-term debt can be avoided or stopped before it spirals out of control."




SEE ALSO:
Britons 'in debt spiral'
21 May 03  |  Business
New surge in credit card spending
01 May 03  |  Business
Does spending make Britain happy?
25 Apr 03  |  Business
UK credit boom 'unsustainable'
11 Mar 03  |  Business
How can I manage my debt?
16 Jan 03  |  Business
Debt: Your questions answered
17 Jan 03  |  Business


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