Problem Debt in the Cost of Living Crisis and Beyond.

Debt doesn’t discriminate, and in the reality of this economic climate, it’s time to recognise that “the everyday” is causing debt to pile up substantially.

A focus on consumer wellbeing when it comes to debt and the support network needed to reduce risk and the temptation of future debt.

Introduction to Generation Debt

The past four years of economic and social emergency have placed intense strain on the financial stability of UK households. The Covid-19 pandemic brought massive disruption to the jobs market, followed up by explosive inflation and the cost of living crisis. As of Spring 2024, some of the impacts of this crisis are starting to ease, as price rises slow and interest rates begin to stabilise. However, there are signs that the UK’s debt crisis is just beginning. As government support programs have gradually tapered off, the prevalence of problem debt has risen, and advice agencies are now seeing soaring demand across the board.

The purpose of this report is to address the UK’s personal debt crisis in the following respects:

  • To put the events of the past four years in their broader macroeconomic context, showing how long-term policy decisions turned the UK into a high-leverage society.
  • To address the impacts that the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have had on the financial stability and indebtedness of UK households.
  • To explore how future economic turmoil might impact levels of indebtedness and demand for debt advice.
  • To review the current policy landscape around debt and insolvency, and to map out what the sector can do to improve resilience and create better customer outcomes in the short and medium-term. 

the audiobook and the report!

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MoneyPlus is encouraging people to speak up and reduce the stigma and shame associated with problem debt.

Find out more about our No Shame in Saying campaign below.


Almost a quarter of Brits think debt is shameful 


Only poor hygiene (59%) and looking unkempt (29%) are seen as more shameful


A third of Brits wish friends and family would be more direct with them about issues like debt