Debt spirals in midst of financial crisis

Around 40% of home owners owe more than £90,000 in secured debt, reveals a survey carried out for the Bank of England.

NMG Research carried out a survey of nearly 2,500 households on behalf of the BoE looking at the financial position of British households.

It found that the number of home owners who owed more than £90,000 in secured debt has risen 35% since the mid-1990s.

The survey also recorded a further 15% of home owners owed over £150,000 in secured debt.

The total amount of debt owed by UK households reached almost £1.6trillion by Q2 2008, which works out at £60,000 per household.

The survey notes that around 40% of respondents with a mortgage had experienced a decline in income of £100 a month. But only 3% of the households surveyed reported having fallen behind on payments.

Secured debt relating to buy-to-let mortgages grew from under 2% in 2000 to over 10% this year.

The research concludes: “There was evidence that more households were finding their debts to be a burden to them than was the case in previous NMG surveys.

“Those that did report having fallen behind were mainly mortgagors with high LTV ratios or renters. Few households saw bankruptcy as a solution to their problems, with most households saying they would try to resolve their debt problems by cutting back on household spending.”