North East of England Wrongly Perceived as Most Debt-Ridden Region

By Payplan, PRNE
Thursday, July 14, 2011

GRANTHAM, England, July 15, 2011 -


Levels of personal debt in the North East of England are nowhere
near as high as people believe, according to a recent study by href="">debt consolidation experts,

According to the Debt Perceptions Survey 2011, 22 per cent of
the public perceive the North East as having the highest levels of
debt in the UK and most at risk of href="">
bankruptcy, but Payplan found that in reality just 4.9 per cent
of their debt management customers in 2011 came from the area.

In contrast, the South East of England was viewed by the public
as being an unlikely location for debt problems, with just eight
per cent of respondents in the survey naming it as the top region
for debt. But 13.7 per cent of Payplan’s customers originated from
the South East in 2011 - more than any other UK region.

Results also show that respondents believe that Londoners are
next in line to the North East when it comes to struggling with
debt, with 19 per cent of respondents naming the capital as the
number one debt location. The reality is that Londoners make up
around the same proportion of Payplan’s customers as people from
the North West of England - around 12 per cent.

In terms of housing status in relation to debt problems, 50 per
cent of respondents in the survey said that the UK’s renting
population would be the ones laden with the most debt, while a
slightly lower 45 per cent of respondents guessed that the problem
would lie predominantly with homeowners.

In actual fact, Payplan’s figures show that 51.25 per cent of
its debt management customers are homeowners, while a much lower
35.16 per cent come from the UK’s renting population.

Respondents in the survey believed that the lowest proportion of
the UK’s debt would lie with people who lived with their parents,
with just one per cent guessing that the UK’s debt problems lie
with this portion of the population. In reality, however, people
living with their parents actually account for six per cent of
those who came to Payplan in search of debt advice in 2011.

Payplan’s Internet Marketing Manager Paul McNulty, explained the
significance of the results: “The disparities between perception
and reality convey the endemic problem that the British population
is simply not wise to debt and who’s suffering with it.

“For example, it’s fairly safe to assume that those living with
their parents are perhaps the younger, less experienced and
therefore more vulnerable part of the UK population. Alarmingly,
our survey has found that six per cent of our customers fall into
this bracket - much higher than our respondents perceived.

“It indicates an unawareness of the fact that debt is affecting
our young people at a much greater level, and could therefore spell
disaster for the financial futures of the youngest members of
Britain’s debt-ridden population.”

In terms of monthly income, respondents tended to think that
those whose monthly earnings lie between £1,000 and £2,000 would be
more in debt than those who earn either the lowest (£0-£1,000) or
the highest (£2,500-£3,000).

The investigation found that the average monthly income of a
Payplan customer is, in fact, £1,808.60. 32 per cent of respondents
therefore guessed the correct monthly income bracket of
£1,500-£2,000, but an alarming 46 per cent wrongly believed the
earnings of people suffering debt to be between £1,000 and

customer survey also shows that the average level of debt per
head has reached a staggering £26,750 - a figure which will surely
shock the 54 per cent of respondents who guessed that average debt
lies between £15,000 and £25,000.

Only 13 per cent of those questioned guessed the correct debt
bracket of £25-30,000, and only a fifth of respondents guessed
correctly that the average debt would take nine years to pay

Despite the survey’s alarming findings, however, Mr McNulty also
issued some reassuring advice to those who feel rendered helpless
by dire finances.

He said: “For anyone who feels that they are unable to cope with
their debt or who can see their debt beginning to spiral out of
control, I would strongly encourage them to contact Payplan. With
19 years of experience in the debt management profession, our
expert advisers are here around the clock to offer free, impartial
and non-judgemental advice, and will quickly be able to put them on
the path to financial stability and peace of mind.”

Paul McNulty, +44(0)1476-539-200 x 3068, paul.mcnulty at

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