Debt management improving, Lloyds Bank survey shows

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More people are getting on top of their debt repayments in further signs of growing consumer confidence, a report has found.

Lloyds Bank said it is seeing "encouraging signs" of people managing their debts after commissioning research among nearly 4,000 people who have a non-mortgage debt between April and June for its Lending Report.

It found that 84% of people are now able to keep up with their debt repayments, up from 81% who said this when a similar survey took place in the first three months of 2015.

Fewer people also reported missing payments compared with the start of the year, with 11% of people saying they had missed at least one payment in the last 12 months, compared with 13% of people who said this in the first three months of the year.

The top reasons given for taking out personal loans were to consolidate existing loans in one place or to purchase a car or bike. Fewer people reported borrowing cash to make home improvements, with 15% saying they had used the money for this purpose in the latest research, compared with 20% who said they had done this at the start of the year.

Men were also more likely than women to use a personal loan to fund an anniversary, the research suggested.

The low interest environment has kept the cost of borrowing cheap, but Bank of England governor Mark Carney recently suggested that the base rate could start to increase from its historic 0.5% low around the turn of the year.

Sam Clark, head of loans at Lloyds Bank, said: "We are starting to see encouraging signs as more people can better manage their loan repayments.

"Overall, the results paint a positive picture and the upward move in consumer confidence will help a lot more people feel more in control of their finances."

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