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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Borrowers approaching retirement owe four times as much as 10 years ago

A new study by Help the Aged and Barclays has revealed that 25% of people are approaching state retirement age with outstanding consumer credit commitments, owing four times as much as their counterparts did ten years ago.

Credit levels are on the increase across all age groups and Help the Aged is concerned about the impact this will have on pensioner poverty as new retirees face the double whammy of living on a fixed income while managing existing credit commitments. The report shows that unlike borrowers in other age groups, older people use credit cards to cover essentials such as the costs of bills or even to buy food.

Half of households headed by someone in their 50s, one in eight over 60s (over 1.5 million) and 4% of people aged 80-84s (about 60,000) are still repaying a mortgage.

None of this should come as a surprise. For the last couple of years I have been reporting that the fastest growing group of people seeking advice about debt problems are the 50-plus. Things are only going to get worse. Dick Stroud

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