The impact of household bills on debt



10% of the nation have fallen into debt due to the cost of household bills

  • 18-34 year olds are the worst affected, with 12% entering debt due to household bills
  • Wales is the most likely place to be in debt from household bills
  • 12.5% of 18-34 year old have entered debt due to the cost of rent, the figures rises to 16.7% in London
  • Vanquis Bank provides a range of helpful information for managing difficult financial situations


Almost 10% (9.08%) of UK adults have been in debt during their life due to the price of household bills, research conducted by Vanquis Bank has revealed.


The survey of 1,311 UK adults, conducted on 3rd August 2018, analysed the factors behind debt, taking into account household bills, rent, overspending, unemployment, medical costs and high interest charges. Vanquis Bank provides a range of helpful information for managing credit during difficult financial situations.


Adults aged 18-34 are the most likely age group to fall into debt to meet the cost of household bills, with 12% claiming this has been the biggest factor behind their debt. Additionally 9.5% of 35-54 year olds and 6.9% of those aged 55 plus admit to falling into debt to meet household bills.


Wales is the most likely UK region to be in debt due from household bills, with 16.8% of the adult population revealing they have been unable cover their outgoings without seeking financial support. The North West are the best at paying household bills through regular income channels with only 4% citing bills as the main factor in their debt.


Position Region % in debt from household bills
1. Wales 16.8%
2. East Midlands 12%
3. West Midlands 10.9%
4. South East 10%
5. Yorkshire & Humber 9.9%
6. South West 9%
7. Scotland 8.91%
8. East of England 8.74%
9. Inner London 7.8%
10. Greater London 6.9%
10. Northern Ireland 6.9%
11. North East 6%
12. North West 4%


The cost of rent is another problem area for 18-34 year olds, with 12.5% admitting they have been unable to meet rental costs, and covered the outgoing through finance. In comparison, only 1% of over 55’s and 6.5% of 35-54 years olds have been in debt due to rental costs.


London is the worst place in the UK to be a renter, with 12.8%, double the national average (5.95%), of adults highlighting rent as the biggest factor in their debt problems. The situation is worse for under 35’s with 16.7% entering debt due to rent in London.


Position Region % in debt from rent
1. Inner London 12.8%
2. Greater London 8.9%
3. Northern Ireland 8.9%
4. East of England 6.8%
5. North West 6%
6. Scotland 5.9%
6. West Midlands 5.9%
7. East Midlands 5%
7. Yorkshire & Humber 5%
8. South West 4%
8. North East 4%
9. Wales 3%
10. South East 1%


Vanquis Bank can help people with bad credit rebuild their credit rating, to date Vanquis have helped over 3.5 million people get the credit they deserve. Offering a manageable credit limit between £150 and £1,000, with a credit limit increase available after the 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000, a credit card for people with poor credit from Vanquis Bank can help credit be rebuild sensibly.


Steps to take to improve a credit rating:

  • Read the Bad Credit History guide to learn what you can do if you have bad credit history.
  • Carrying out a credit check with a Credit Reference Agency to understand your credit position.
  • Assess your income and expenditure to understand how you can reduce your costs and see how much money you have available.
  • Prepare a budget and carefully manage your expenses.
  • Collect all the bills and outgoings that must be paid and diarise when to pay these and/or set up standing orders to be sure not to miss any payment deadlines