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More than two million people facing midlife debt crisis, survey finds | Personal Finance | Finance

As many as 2.25 million members of the “sandwich generation” – those aged 45 to 54 – say their borrowing increased during the pandemic. This is despite headline figures claiming that people saved more than £180billion during lockdown.

One in five whose current debt has increased in the past 12 months borrowed to pay off other existing debts.

And a similar number are paying back interest on the credit card and mortgage repayment holidays they took as the pandemic hit last spring.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at insurer Aviva, which commissioned the research, said: “Those in mid-life represent the least happy and most anxious age group in the UK.

“They are balancing their own needs with younger and older family members and we know that when people feel their debt is out of control it causes huge anxiety.”

The clear majority (78 percent) of the 2,010 45- to 54-year-olds surveyed worry about their debt levels. And a quarter admit they do not actually know how much they owe.

One in five feel their debts are “out of control”. When asked why, 23 percent put it down to their own poor financial skills.

Comment by John Gllen, Economic Minister of the Treasury

Problem debt can be terrifying.

As a Government, we have taken significant steps to help. Today, we’re going further.

Struggling borrowers can request a 60-day “Breathing Space”, to try to get their finances back on track.

During the period, they will have legal protection from creditors, with most interest and penalty charges frozen, and enforcement action halted.

Anyone being treated for a mental health crisis will get protection for a further 30 days.

I want there to be light at the end of the tunnel for those who feel trapped by debt.

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