• Over six million Brits (12%) believe they will never be debt free
  • The average person in debt is over £8,000 in the red, not including their mortgage
  • 22% of Brits are struggling to make ends meet and 62% admit to being worried about their levels of personal debt
  • Rising levels of debt signals the end of the bank of mum and dad, with 65% of adults believing they will never be in a position to help younger generations
  • Over two in five (43%) agree that the next generation will be in an even worse financial state
  • On average, Brits expect to be debt free by 57
  • To help people face up to their financial woes, comparethemarket.com has created the“Debt Free Face” Calculator, an innovative tool which calculates how old you will be when you are debt-free, and what you will probably look like when that time comes!

Millions of Brits are facing a never-ending road to financial recovery, with over six million (12%) believing they will never be debt-free. That’s according to research from price comparison site, comparethemarket.com.

A growing reliance on credit has led to the highest debt levels in recent history. The average person with debt is in the red by over £8,000 and that’s not even including mortgage repayments - the average mortgage owed is £106,755.

Right now, nearly a quarter (23%) of adults are struggling to make ends meet. 10% have maxed out a credit card and another 10% admit being overdrawn within the past twelve months. The heavy reliance on credit is clearly taking its toll, with 62% admitting to being worried about their levels of personal debt.

Growing debt is creating a vicious cycle, with over a third (34%) already planning on taking on additional debt - in the form of credit cards, loans car finance and mortgages - in the next year. On average, Brits believe that 57 is a realistic age for clearing their debts, although half (49%) see themselves in debt until they are 60 or older.

While being debt free at 57 may seem to be the light at the end of the tunnel for some, this may not leave enough debt-free time to help future generations. In fact, 35% of those polled do not believe they will be able to ever be in a financial position to help out younger family members in the future, breaking the tradition of the bank of mum and dad.

To help people face up to their financial woes, comparethemarket.com has created the “Debt Free Face” Calculator, an innovative tool that calculates at what age a person could be debt-free, and what they will probably look like then!

Shakila Hashmi

Shakila Hashmi

Head of Money


"Right now millions of Brits could be in danger of suffering from one of the longest financial hangovers in history. While it may be hard to see an end in sight, the worst thing people in debt can do right now is stick their head in the sand.

“As well as reining in spending, there are other ways you can reduce debt, like switching to credit cards that help you get on top of debt with interest-free periods. As well as choosing the right credit card, shopping around for the best deals on things like car and home insurance, energy, broadband and even your mobile phone tariffs will help ease spending and save you a considerable amount.

“If you feel like your credit card woes are out of control, help is at hand. Charities like StepChange offer free and impartial advice to help get your debt under control.”

Shoestring Britain: The top 10 ways Brits are cutting back to make ends meet:

1. Using up existing savings (23%)
2. Stopped eating out at restaurants (13%)
3. Pick the slowest delivery option when ordering items online (12%)
4. Asked friends and family for extra funds (11%)
5. Sell old everyday items (11%)
6. Sold old clothes (10%)
7. Stopped buying coffee from high-street coffee shops (7%)
8. Cancelled online subscriptions (7%)
9. Given up alcohol (5%)
10. Started cycling / walking to work instead of taking public transport / driving (4%)