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Pensioners Hit Hard By Credit Crunch

Jun 12, 2008
UK residents over the age of 55 are being hit hardest by the rises in living costs and the tightening in consumer credit markets, Skipton Building Society has found.

According to research recently published by the group, Britons in this age group are more likely than any other to have tightened their belts in recent months as fuel, food and energy costs increase and credit, mortgages and loans become more difficult to come by. In the first report in a Credit Crunch Britain series, Skipton identifies that more than eight out of ten (84 per cent) of respondents have cut back on spending in an effort to protect themselves against the worsening financial climate.

The group notes an overall trend in which the older people are, the more likely they are to have attempted to rein in spending. While 55.7 per cent of people aged between 16 and 24 said they had cut back on outgoings as a result of the credit crunch, 57.8 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds answered positively. A sharper jump was seen when 35 to 44-year-olds were questioned, with 72.6 per cent saying they had limited their outgoings recently.

People who have found themselves in an untenable financial situation as the cost of living soars and lending markets dry up may find taking out a debt consolidation loan useful. In taking out this type of loan and entering into lowered payment arrangements with energy providers and creditors, borrowers may find they are in a better position to meet the inflated monthly payments.

For 76 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds, cutting back had also been a priority, while those of pensionable age were said to be most likely to have reduced spending. A number of regional trends were also identified. In the north-east, Skipton notes the effects of the Northern Rock crisis beginning in the summer of last year may have been more sharply felt in this area. More residents in this region said they had cut back in recent times than in any other area in the UK, with 62.8 per cent of people saying they had made financial sacrifices. In Scotland and the south-west meanwhile, residents seem more reluctant to rein in spending, with 54 per cent and 54.8 per cent of respondents respectively saying they had done so in recent months.

Londoners followed those living in the north-west with a positive response from 62.3 per cent of people in the capital, with residents in the east rounding out the top three areas forced into frugality by the credit crunch.

Commenting on the findings, Steve Haggerty, managing director at Skipton Building Society, said: "It is clear that the credit crunch is having a marked impact on UK consumers' spending. But the fact that almost a third of adults have not cut back on their spending at all suggests that either they are financially strong or that they see the current economic climate as short-term. It is our view that, the credit crunch will ease in the short-term; making mortgages cheaper and more available. However, the wider, global issues, such as oil prices, will continue to create pressures on the pockets of UK consumers for some time to come."

For those who have found themselves out of pocket and facing money management problems, taking out a debt consolidation loan may be of assistance. It may also prove a prudent course of action for the 23 per cent of people identified by Fairinvestment in a recent study who are set to cut back on life's luxuries as the credit crunch takes hold.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, a one stop, Personal UK Loans Shop, with information on adverse credit loans and cheap debt consolidation available on site.
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