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Credit Crunch Impacts On Family Life

Jun 29, 2008
The credit crunch is beginning to bite into the heart of families in the UK.

Transact, a forum representing over 1,000 organizations that advise on dealing with financial difficulties and debt management have reported a steep rise in the number of middle class families that are asking for help.

Whereas it was usually families on benefits that would use debt advice centres, advisers are now seeing more and more people from the banking, police, teaching and other service based industries asking for help, with many already struggling with credit card debts, secured loans and mortgages.

The credit crunch has also had an effect on the amount of money families are able to save for a rainy day. A recent poll by Callcredit, a credit reference company, showed that up to 25% of people are now saving less than they were, or do not manage to save anything at all. Another 10% of people said that not only were they not managing to save any money, they were actually having to dip into their savings for everyday living expenses.

'Many of the UK's workforce are at what could be described as a financial tipping point where just one unexpected unfortunate incident could have dire financial consequences', according to Owen Roberts, head of Callcredit Check.

Another worrying implication of the credit crunch is that 5% of people polled said that they are now spending over half of their income purely servicing unsecured debts, with little hope of having their credit limits extended.

Family life in general has not escaped the effects of the credit crunch and rising cost of living. Many solicitors are reporting that they are receiving more inquiries relating to divorce than this time last year. The reasons for this may be two fold. One reason is that families are beginning to feel the strain of every day life, and cracks that could previously be papered over when the money was flowing, are now beginning to show. The other reason is that some clients can see the financial implications of staying married, and decide that by divorcing, one partner is able to protect their assets.

Even the family pet has not been exempt from feeling the financial pressures that many families are under today.

Animal sanctuaries across the country are reporting a distinct rise in the number of rabbits, cats and doge being handed in by owners who are finding that they simply cannot afford to keep their pet in today's financial climate.

According the to RSPCA, the number of animals that have been abandoned by their owners is 23% higher than that in 2007.

The most obvious reason for this is that families cannot afford the food, vet bills and kennel costs when their finances are already at breaking point. In other families, one of the partners has had to return to full time employment and doesn't want their pet left alone all day.

If people are experiencing financial problems it is essential that they seek out help as soon as possible, and do not ignore the problem.
About the Author
The author has many years experience in the debt management field. This has involved advising individuals and organizations on their debt policy.
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