Finance · 5 November 2018

Report finds debt levels soaring among the UK’s self-employed

Business Debtline says that both business and personal debts are common among the individuals it serves
Debt is a pressing concern among the UK’s self-employed, who now make up 15% of the country’s total employed population.

Small business owners and self-employed people are increasingly grappling with high levels of debt, according to new research from SME advice service Business Debtline.

Findings show that 49% of the 36, 000 people who contacted the service last year had debt totalling 10, 000 or more. Nearly one quarter (23%) owed more than 30, 000. The report identified issues such as low and variable incomes, late payments and a lack of business management skills as some of the key financial sticking points for SMEs.

Business Debtline says that both business and personal debts are common among the individuals it serves, and the two are frequently combined. More than six in 10 callers surveyed (61%) said they had used personal credit at some point to pay for business costs in the past two years.

The report’s conclusions are based on data collected via Business Debtline’s advisers and surveys, as well as analysis from Experian. Overall, it found that callers are overrepresented in households that tend to be younger, with lower household incomes and high uses of credit. In addition, these individuals often have limited financial resilience in terms of pensions and savings.


 

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Jennifer is a reporter for Business Advice.

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