Family debt jumped 42 per cent to more than £13,500 in six months

Emma Haslett
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Households are increasingly indebted, the research found (Source: Getty)

With growth in the economy looking shaky, it seems the amount people are borrowing has increased: new figures showed family household debt rose a whopping 42 per cent to £13,520 in the final six months of last year.

The figure, which excludes mortgages, is up from £9,520 in summer 2015, and £9,050 last winter. It's also 24 per cent higher than the £10,870 owed on average in winter 2011.

Credit card debts rose 21 per cent to £2,370, from £1,960 last year. Overdrafts rose 37 per cent, from £870 to £1,190.

Meanwhile, the amount people are saving has fallen, from £113 per month in summer last year, to £105 in winter. Although it was up from £99 last winter.

The research suggested married parents are the most indebted, with £14,500 of borrowing - compared to single parents, who owe £6,370. Meanwhile, coupes with two or more children have racked up debts of £18,830.

This comes at a time when policy is desperately trying to shore up people's finances. With wage growth at its highest in years and inflation at record lows, people's incomes should stretch further than ever.

But Louise Colley, managing director of protection at Aviva, pointed out that with an interest rate rise now slated for November, families could find themselves worse off.

"Families who have grown accustomed to cheaper credit – particularly those who have spent heavily over the Christmas period – need to ensure they are still fully prepared to manage debt repayments, as well as other monthly outgoings, should rates go up."

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