It is understandable that as more people lose their jobs or find they can no longer borrow their way out of financial trouble there will be a rise in the numbers looking for debt management solutions, but it’s the scale of the increase that is surprising.
Clients who use Leadbay are at the beginning of the advice curve but last month’s insolvency figures from the Office of National Statistics show the conclusion of this process – an 11.6% increase in the number of consumers who took out individual voluntary arrangements in the past year and a 24.6% rise in bankruptcies.
What’s interesting is the age range of individuals in debt. We don’t appear to manage our money any better as we get older. In the past six months the youngest person we saw asking for debt advice was 19 and the oldest 75.
But we are noticing a change. Until recently many consumers were carrying significant debt into retirement with them but as refinancing in later life has become more difficult, the average age of those asking for debt advice has fallen to 33.
The message for advisers is that there are a lot of consumers in distressing circumstances asking for your help.
If you can provide a service when they most need you, they are likely not only to stick with you in better times but also to recommend you to everyone they know.