Half of older homeowners are using equity release in order to repay debt, according to data collected by Key.
The analysis shows that 30 per cent of people are using equity release to repay unsecured debt and 20 per cent are doing so in order to repay mortgages.
Looking at where the average over 55 owes money, an outstanding mortgage tops the chart for the largest amount left to repay at £87,181.
This was followed by 13,578 in loans and £10,319 on credit cards.
This equates to an average monthly repayment of £586 towards the mortgage, £282 for loans and £300 on credit cards.
Key chief executive Will Hale says: “Juggling debt at any age can be stressful but with typically a fixed income, older people are likely to find it even more stressful than most.
“Clearly people in their 70s and 80s are having to balance how to keep up these repayments alongside maintaining their standard of living in retirement.
“For homeowners, it makes sense to look at downsizing, equity release or other later life lending options… good independent expert advice is key to ensuring that older homeowners receive the most benefit from their property wealth and use it in the most appropriate way for them and their families.”