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Debt Crisis For Over-60S: Number Unable To Cope Rises By 40% In Three Years

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One of Britain’s biggest debt charities warned yesterday of a crisis among the over-60s, with record numbers facing insolvency.

Step Change, which offers counselling and debt management advice, said 13,148 people aged 60 and over, equal to around 36 a day, sought help last year, compared with 9,628 in 2009.

Nice advertising placement, but this number is tiny out of more than 10m over-60s. Still, they can always sell their house.

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Still, they can always sell their house.

Well, quite. I know that not all individuals will have benefitted equally from being born into the luckiest generation so far in history, but I struggle to have much sympathy for the indebted of this demographic.

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The charity's report blames credit cards for fuelling the problem among older people.

I blame the people for using the credit cards.

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Levels of credit card debt are higher among the over-60s than the population as a whole and increasing numbers are resorting to debt advice, a debt charity has reported.

The alarming warning contradicts the stereotype of younger people being the most indebted and highlights the financial difficulty many older people are suffering even after they retire and are unable to easily boost their earnings.

It comes as another charity, Age UK, launched a campaign today to ensure older people claim all state benefits owed to them to alleviate rising living costs. (See below).

StepChange, the debt advice charity, reported that the over-60s clients that it advises have average debts of £22,999 each, versus an average of £17,635 across all clients. The figures relate to unsecured debt and do not include mortgages.

It is credit card debts that are weighing most heavily on older people. StepChange clients above the age of 60 had an average £15,152 of credit card debt, versus £10,006 for all age groups.

The same trend is evident for catalogue debt - £2,026 for the over 60s compared to £1,808 for all age groups - overdrafts - £2,467 compared to £2,026 - and store cards - £2,005 compared to £1,196.

Step Change said that 13,148 people over 60 contacted it for advice last year, up 39 per cent from 9,628 in 2009.

Delroy Corinaldi from StepChange said: 'Whatever someone’s income level during their working years, most would expect to be in a stable, if not comfortable, financial situation when they are older. Unfortunately those in this age group who are struggling with debt are particularly vulnerable as their earning potential has diminished.'

One possible explanation for the trend may be that older people are unable to easily increase their income, meaning that any debt they have when they stop work becomes unsustainable more quickly than for working people, pushing them to seek advice sooner.

Additionally, this generation had access to higher levels of borrowing prior to the credit crunch.

Age campaigners have complained that rises in living costs hit older people far harder because they spend a greater slice of their income of everyday essentials such as food, heating and electricity. These have risen in price more quickly than the overall rate of inflation, currently just 2.8 per cent.

Charity Age UK reported today that almost a third, 32 per cent, of older people admit to struggling financially, with more than half, 56 per cent, worried about basic living costs such as buying food and keeping warm.

Age UK said that its research showed a third of older people are feeling financially worse off than this time last year, a quarter admitted they had cut back on luxuries and a fifth said they had bought cheaper or less food.

One in five had cut back on heating their home this winter

The charity has launched a campaign to encourage older people to claim all the state benefits they are entitled to. The campaign is being backed by high-profile money saving expert Martin Lewis.

Despite over four million pensioners being entitled to pension credit, Age UK said, a third of those who are eligible don’t claim it. Yet if all those who are entitled to Pension Credit put in a claim, it could boost their income by an average of £1,716 a year.

Michelle Mitchell, Age UK’s Charity Director, commented: 'At a time when so many people are struggling financially, it is a huge concern that vital benefits are failing to reach some of the poorest and most vulnerable older people in our society. This is money that could make a real difference to their quality of life.'

The call is at odds with Government noises that wealthy pensioners should give up universally available benefits such as the Winter Fuel Payment and free TV licences.

So, granny is likely spending her entire pension on interest payments?

Gran, sell your house and live like the rest of the nation.

Kids. What are you not minding your parents?

And I wonder what the real demographic profile of the daytime TV 'payday' loan clientèle is?

Edited by cashinmattress

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Kids. What are you not minding your parents?

Because it's not our f*cking job and if we tried they would tell us to mind our own business?

Essentially, this non-story is that banks are will to lend money to people who own their own houses outright.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%

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