We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
StepChange Debt Charity logo
A woman and her son posting a letter in a red letterbox

A snapshot of UK personal debt statistics in 2018

Download the 2018 report

Statistics Yearbook 2018

In 2018, more people than ever contacted us for debt advice. Our Statistics Yearbook takes an in-depth look at more than 650,000 people struggling with problem debt. Explore the latest personal and household debt trends of new clients who contacted us in 2018.

Number one

We’re seeing more single parents contacting us for advice

23% of our clients are single parents compared to the national average of 6% 85% of our single parent clients are women
Number 2

A reduced income, unemployment or redundancy, and illness or injury are the top three causes of debt

In 2018, 17% of new clients contacted us because of a reduced income, 17% contacted us because of unemployment or redundancy, and 16% due to illness or injury.

First is reduced income (17%) Second is unemployment or redundancy (17%) Third is injury or illness (16%)
Number 3

More clients than ever are contacting us for advice

In 2018, 657,930 new clients contacted us for help with their problem debt. That’s one new client every 48 seconds.


new clients in 2018

Contacted us 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
   Telephone 252,269 264,856 320,019 314,676 321,134
    Debt Remedy 405,661 355,090 279,007 234,377 256,544
  Total new contacts 657,930 619,946 599,026 549,053 577,678
Number 4

Over half of our clients are in employment

In 2018, 55% of our new clients or their partner were in full-time or part-time employment. 31% were unemployed.

35% of our new clients are employed full-time, 20% are employed part-time, 31% are unemployed, and 14% are employed in other ways

Want more information?

Email us to discuss our 2018 personal debt statistics and other debt research across the UK.


Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2019