Why you Should Pay your Unsecured Debts Now

By: Luke Ashworth

A recent survey revealed that consumers aged between 30 and 35 years have average unsecured debts of around ?5,863, which equates to nearly 30 per cent more than the national average. Financial experts have said that the early 30s are a transitional age where careers are beginning to take off and before family responsibilities take over. Many are buying their first homes at this age, but are also enjoying rapidly increasing salaries and are keen to enjoy their disposable income.

However, some particularly those that are not trying to get on the property ladder, may find themselves in financial difficulty in the future as a result of living beyond their means.

The survey also revealed that those in the age group are likely to make the maximum number of defaults on their unsecured loans. The results have raised concern over the alarming rate at which bad debts are rising and when they will be paid off. For example, pensioners are carrying huge amounts of debt with the average 60-plus-year-old owing more than ?35,000 in unsecured loans.

Some 63 per cent of those aged 60 and over have unsecured debts, such as credit card and loan debt, according to a survey of 4,620 pensioners by equity release specialist Key Retirement Solutions. It found that the average pensioner owes ?9,098 in personal loans, ?7,551 pounds in credit card debt, ?3,215 in overdrafts and a further ?15,616 in other unsecured debts, such as store cards and car finance schemes. That's a total 35,480 pounds. Taking account of outstanding mortgage debts carried into retirement adds a further ?31,000 per pensioner to the debt mountain.

Recent figures from financial education charity Credit Action showed that the number of over-60s with money worries increased faster than among any other age group last year, as pensioners grapple with rising energy and council tax bills. There is an increasing number of over-60s not only taking mortgage debt into retirement, but servicing loans, credit cards and overdraft debt. With official statistics showing that 11.7 million workers do not make any contribution to a private pension, and a growing culture and acceptance of debt in our society, this is a large scale problem that will continue to hit future generations in retirement.

With monthly repayments on that of over ?450 and more than 38 per cent of pensioners living on 10,000 pounds or less per year, the debt crisis means that some older people are using almost half of their annual income to keep up with repayment. .

Retirement should be a time for some well-earned relaxation, but for all too many it is a time of financial stress. Also, when we consider that inflation hits the over-60s hardest, pension provision is looking increasingly shaky, and we have moved away from a savings culture. The levels of debt amongst the over 60s, as well as being a serious issue now, is one which is only likely to get worse.

Borrowers that find themselves living well beyond their means should concentrate on slimming down their debts and putting money aside for savings. If you're not keen to buy a house or start a family, it is still a good idea to put aside some extra cash to finance the rest of your life should your financial situation change.

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