Tuesday 16 August 2016 1:00 am

London has the worst debt crisis in the UK

Londoners have the most severe debt problems of anybody in the country, according to a leading debt advice charity.

StepChange said those living in the capital were more likely to be behind on their monthly payments and typically had higher levels of borrowing than those across the rest of the UK.

The findings comes in a new report, London in the Red, based on analysis of 15,000 StepChange clients, which found the average level of debt for those in London who used the service was £12,402 – 3.5 per cent higher than outside the capital. Londonders were also 40 per cent more likely to turn to the charity in the first place.

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People living inside the M25 were also more likely to be behind on their rent, mortgage or council tax payments and were deemed to be stuck deeper in the debt spiral. Those who turned to StepChange outside London typically had a monthly shortfall – the amount they are short of being able to afford essential bills and debt repayments – of £15. Inside London, the difference is £66.

Red London

  London average UK average Difference
Average income £1,216 £1,218 £2
Average amount left after outgoings Minus £66 Minus £15 £51
Total debt £12,402 £11,980 £422

Analysis of 15,000 people who used the StepChange service shows Londoners are typically more indebted than people in the rest of the UK while incomes aren't any higher

StepChange also noted the problem was not confined to the poorest areas of the capital, with "people in London's more affluent areas" also falling "into debt because of a divorce or separation" causing a financial shock.

Those indebted in richer areas of London were more likely to use credit cards, bank loans and overdrafts, while in poorer areas people were more likely to be in arrears on household bills.