December 4, 2023 8:11 am

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Nikka Sulton

In the past 12 months, almost one in five UK adults faced financial challenges, leading to missed payments, with 7% experiencing difficulties meeting mortgage or rent obligations, according to Bluestone Mortgages. These payment struggles extend beyond housing costs, encompassing utility bills, credit cards, tax bills, and loan repayments, reflecting the broader economic strain on a significant portion of the population.

As financial resilience becomes increasingly crucial, understanding and addressing these challenges becomes paramount for individuals navigating the complexities of their financial responsibilities. Taking proactive steps to manage and prioritize payments, seeking financial guidance, and exploring viable solutions can contribute to improved financial stability in the face of economic uncertainties.

A substantial trend emerges among individuals facing financial challenges, particularly in credit card and utility bill payments. The statistics reveal that a significant portion, seven in 10, who encountered difficulties with credit card payments did so repeatedly. Likewise, for those grappling with utility payments, over three-quarters experienced the challenge of missing more than one payment.

Despite the prevalence of financial setbacks, a noteworthy revelation is that one in seven individuals appears to grapple with a sense of hesitation or reluctance to seek financial support, possibly rooted in feelings of embarrassment. This reluctance may hinder them from accessing the assistance they may genuinely require. Simultaneously, a comparable number of individuals admit to a lack of clarity regarding the initial steps involved in seeking financial support.

Another crucial aspect highlighted by the data is the awareness gap among the population. Astonishingly, 17% of individuals remain uninformed about the available support from financial organizations, such as mortgage lenders or energy providers, during times of financial hardship. This lack of awareness could potentially deprive them of valuable assistance. Moreover, a third of the population, while acknowledging the existence of such support mechanisms, confesses to a limited understanding of how these measures could specifically benefit their financial situation. Bridging this information gap could empower individuals to navigate financial challenges more effectively.

Steve Seal, the Chief Executive of Bluestone Mortgages, delves into the ramifications of the ongoing cost of living crisis and the strain on affordability, shedding light on the fact that one in seven individuals has grappled with missed payments over the last year. This financial challenge not only leaves a dent in credit scores but also has a lasting impact on individuals’ ability to secure loans. In navigating these difficulties, Seal advocates for transparent conversations about financial situations, stressing the importance of encouraging individuals to seek the necessary help and support.

Emphasizing the significance of early engagement, Seal underscores that reaching out for assistance at the onset of financial struggles ensures a more tailored and effective support system. Whether individuals seek support directly from organizations or are guided to debt advisers, the goal is to help them regain control of their finances. Seal calls for a collective effort within the industry to amplify awareness about the available support options. This collaborative approach aims to deliver fair outcomes that take into account the unique circumstances of each individual, fostering a more supportive and understanding financial landscape.


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