The average adult in Huddersfield is shouldering unsecured debts of more than £18,500, according to shock figures.
The UK Personal Debt Index (PDI) showed that the average level of debt held by people in the town who are seeking help with their personal finances rose by 31% during the second quarter of 2017 to £18,512. Nationally, the average rose by 35.8%.
Unsecured debt refers to any debt that is not protected by a guarantor or asset – such as bank loans, credit cards and payday loans.
The index, compiled by insolvency practice Creditfix, reported a 15.9% rise nationally in the number of individuals aged over 46 – who now account for four in every 10 seeking help with their personal finances.
“It’s a really worrying sign that the level of personal unsecured debt is increasing, especially for those people nearing retirement age,” said Creditfix chief executive Pearse Flynn.
“It’s plain to see that consumer borrowing is on the increase. In November, 2016, we saw the fastest annual growth rate in consumer credit borrowing since a pre-recession 2005.
“The danger is although debt levels for many currently remain affordable, should pressure on household expenditure begin to increase with rising inflation, sluggish wage increases or rising interest rates, the affordability of much of the consumer debt now being taken on could become a serious problem.”