‘I’ve been so overwhelmed!’ Woman shares ‘fear and shame’ over soaring debt repayments

‘I’ve been so overwhelmed!’ Woman shares ‘fear and shame’ over soaring debt repayments

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Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 19/03/2024

- 10:40

Updated: 19/03/2024

- 11:56

Charities are urging the Government to take action over the growing debt crisis

Millions of Britons are at risk of falling into debt with some speaking out on the “frightening and demeaning” experience of owing money.

Some 6.7 million people in Britain are now in financial difficulty amid the cost of living crisis, according to polling commissioned by Debt Justice UK.

In a recent survey, 13 per cent of respondents have missed three or more credit or bill payments in the last three months.

The charity has published its “Together Against Debt Manifesto” which outlines policy demands developed by people most affected by the household debt crisis.

As part of this manifesto launch, those with experience being in debt shared how issues with money result in people feeling “frightened and demeaned”.

Paula from Glasgow, whose name has been changed to protect anonymity, shared: “I am currently in crippling debt.

Do you have a money story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing money@gbnews.uk.

Woman worried while looking at finances

Britons are sharing their debt stories


“I’ve been so overwhelmed by the onslaught of letters demanding unpayable amounts that I have felt completely paralysed with fear and shame.

“The current status quo is forcing people already in debt into more debt. We need to address this situation with immediate effect to allow people in debt to turn their situation around.”

Debbie from Kent described the reality of living in debt as being a “horrible, frightening and demeaning” experience.

Tracey from Lancashire explained: “I’ve been classed as disabled and I’ve no way of paying any debt back.

“The debt companies constantly hound you to the point where I’m scared to open mail or answer the door or even go out at all.”

As part of Debt Justice’s manifesto, all political parties are being called to make a commitment to address the debt crisis.

More than eight in ten of those polled agreed that the government should ensure everyone pushed into unmanageable debt can access fair debt solutions to reset their finances and rebuild their lives.

Ahead of a likely election this year, nearly half of respondents said it would make them more likely to support a political party committed to this policy.

Over three-quarters of those polled agreed that the Government should ensure everyone can meet essential costs such as food, energy and housing, without being pushed into debt.

Some 69 per cent shared they they want the Government to make everyone pushed into unmanageable debt is protected from creditor and bailiff harassment.


Man looks worried at debt holding bank card

Debt has becoming a major issue for households amid the cost of living crisis


Some 85 per cent of Britons believe the Government should ensure free, impartial and high quality debt advice is accessible to everyone across the country.

Joe Cox, a senior policy officer for Debt Justice, added: “The household debt crisis is becoming ever more entrenched and polling shows there is strong public support to address it.

“We need to see policies in party manifestos that can match the scale of the UK’s household debt emergency.

“As millions of people are currently weighed down by debt and under intolerable strain, it is time for some political leadership."

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