Working households’ experiences of debt problemsAuthors: Sharon Collard, Andrea Finney, Sara Davies
Funded by: StepChange Debt Charity
Published by: Foundation for Credit Counselling
Publication date: November 2012
StepChange Debt Charity commissioned this research to shine a light on the debt problems faced by people living in working households in 2012. The research looked in detail at:
- The processes by which working households accumulate consumer credit.
- The ways in which working households respond to their increasing levels of consumer credit debt.
- The reasons why working households seek help when they do, and not earlier.
- Working households’ experiences of getting help and their feelings about their financial futures.
- What we can learn from working households’ experiences in order to improve the help and support they require.
The findings described in our report are based on qualitative depth interviews with 20 StepChange Debt Charity clients who were living in working households at the time they turned to StepChange Debt Charity for help. A working household was defined as one with any earned income from employment or selfemployment. The interviews were carried out with people in three different locations: the South; the Midlands; and the North. By the time they contacted StepChange Debt Charity, most of the people we talked to had significant levels of unsecured debt, in many cases amounting to well over £40,000.
The qualitative interviews are not intended to be representative of all StepChange Debt Charity clients, or of all working households in debt. Instead, their value lies in the depth of understanding they give us about working people’s views, attitudes and experiences of credit and debt. Additional information in the report comes from a review of recent evidence and analysis of client data conducted by StepChange.
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