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Loans Being Used To 'Finance Lifestyle'

Dec 7, 2007
An increasing number of Britons are borrowing money, a new study indicates.

In a report released by Standard Life Bank, it was suggested that the "marked increase" in wealth over the past few years has been equalled by a similar growth in borrowing. As a result, the total amount owed via loans, store cards, overdrafts and other types of consumer borrowing now surpasses the 1.35 trillion pounds mark. Findings from the firm also indicated that credit is most often taken out by those between the ages of 20 and 50, in particular at times when people are struggling to manage their finances while raising a family.

The study also revealed that young people are increasingly prepared to apply for a loan or look to other means of borrowing to help maintain a certain standard of living. Meanwhile, many parents often feel under pressure to meet their childrens' needs.

In addition, the report indicated that the amount of money owed by those looking towards credit has risen over recent years. However, the proportion of those with "heavy" usage of loans, store cards and other forms of borrowing is still stated to make up a "tiny minority". Further findings from the company also revealed that "a core" of young people believe that insolvency and debt consolidation, which could include a consolidation loan, can provide an easy way out of problems with managing money. Housing equity was also seen as a solution to all future financial needs.

Anne Gunther, chief executive for Standard Life Bank, said: "Consumer attitudes to credit and borrowing have changed dramatically over the last few years. We are not only seeing people trying to keep 'up with the Joneses' but also aspiring to a lifestyle more akin to A-list celebrities. Credit is not only freely available but considered a way of financing lifestyles rather than reflecting need. Rising debt is also becoming a key issue for younger people from primarily reasonably affluent backgrounds.

"A seismic change in mindset is required to begin to unwind the chronic debt issues we face in the UK. Pinning your hopes on housing equity or thinking that insolvency is the easy way out of debt is financial suicide."

Consequently, the financial services firm reported that the government should do more to create an environment in which consumers will be able to make more informed decisions. In addition, it was suggested that current fiscal guidance and education schemes, which could incorporate how to effectively look for the best-rate loan, should be strengthened. Meanwhile, Standard Life suggested that "high-profile public information campaigns" could help get rid of some of the "myths" surrounding housing equity and filing for insolvency as a means of getting out of financial problems.

As a result, those looking for an effective way to get to grips with their finances may wish to consider getting a debt consolidation loan. Earlier this year, research conducted by the Motley Fool suggested that access to various forms of borrowing, such as loans, may be squeezed in the weeks to come following an industry-wide tightening of lending criteria. In turn, those who are concerned that their ability to manage their finances will come under more pressure, may find that a debt consolidation loan provides an answer to their problems.
About the Author
Tom Dawson is the Editor in Chief for Essentially Home Loans where visitors can apply for cheap loans online. We also specialise in loans for debt consolidation
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