More people struggling to pay household bills says StepChange charity

household bills

According to the debt charity StepChange, there has been an increase in the number of people approaching the charity who are struggling to pay their basic household bills. Some 30% of people looking for debt support from the charity said they owed money on their council tax payments. An additional 13% of StepChange users also said they were behind on their gas and electricity payments.

These people are increasingly turning to payday loan providers to meet the shortfall, with the average payday loan of approximately £1,700.

The charity said that it was concerning that people were struggling to pay even basic household bills, and worse still, turning to high cost of credit payday loans to meet their shortfall.

Better budgeting and lifestyle choices should be the first port of call, with all the available tools in the marketplace to assess household spending.

It comes at a time when households are under increasing pressure. Gas and electricity bills have risen again this year, and council tax bills have gone up by 5% on average.

These price increases come at a time when wage growth is weak, so taking into account inflation growth, households have less income but more expensive bills.

The National Audit Office estimates that households across the UK owe nearly £20bn to utility companies, housing associations and councils. Of the 180,644 who received full debt advice from StepChange, two-thirds were under 40. Around 60% asking for help were women.

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