Debt by numbers: The shocking statistics of personal debt

At the end of February 2013, outstanding personal debt stood at £1.424 trillion.

That's up from £1.408 trillion at the same time last year and, perhaps even more shocking, are the figures that show that at the end of February 2013, individuals owed nearly as much as the entire country produced during the whole of 2012.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The debt statistics were released by Credit Action, a financial capability charity to highlight the financial situation of personal debt in the UK.

Here are ten of the most worrying figures found in their report, which analysed figures collected between November 2012 and February 2013:

1. £28,981: the average amount owed per UK adult including mortgages. That's around 118% of average earnings.

2. £29.02: the average cost per day of raising a child from birth to the age of 21.

3. £166 million: the amount of interest paid every day on personal debt

4. £1.373 billion: the daily value of all purchases made on credit and debit cards

5. 1,454: the number of people made redundant every day

6. 887,000: the number of people who have been unemployed for over a year

7. 5 minutes 12 seconds: how often someone was declared bankrupt or insolvent

8. 17 minutes 7 seconds: how often a property was repossessed

9. £69.95: how much it cost to fill a 50 litre tank with unleaded petrol in March

10. £1,157: the estimated amount that the Government borrowed every second during February 2013

Michelle Highman, Chief Executive of Credit Action said: "These shocking figures demonstrate how important money management really is. But we need to start young. We believe that financial education is key to arming oneself with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to stay on top of money throughout life. We've reached over 50,000 young people so far in this way."

What do you think, have these figures scared you or do you think debt is an unavoidable evil? Tell us in the comments box below.

Tax tricks to improve your wealth
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Debt by numbers: The shocking statistics of personal debt

If you wear a uniform of any kind to work and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself, you may be able to reclaim tax paid over the last four years. For some people, this could mean a windfall worth hundreds of pounds

The interest you receive on savings accounts (with the exception of cash Isas) is automatically taxed at a rate of 20%.

Higher-rate taxpayers therefore tend to owe money on the interest they are paid throughout the year. If, however, you are on a low income or not earning at all, you should be able to claim all or some of the tax deducted back

You can apply for a refund of vehicle tax if you are the current registered keeper or were the last registered keeper of your vehicle that no longer needs a tax disc

If you pay tax on a company, personal or State Pension through PAYE (the system employers use to deduct tax from your wages), you may well end up overpaying

There is a limit to the amount you need to pay in NI, whether or not you work for an employer.

Instances in which you may find that you have overpaid include if you work two or more jobs and earn more than £817 a week and if you move from self-employment to employment, but continue to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions


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