15% ‘feel their debt is out of control or they have no way of paying it off’

Around one in seven (15%) people feel their debt is out of control or they have no way of paying it off, according to a survey.

This figure rises to nearly a fifth (18%) of 45 to 54-year-olds, the research from Aviva found.

Nearly half (48%) of over-55s surveyed still have “some sort” of debt, despite getting closer to retirement.

Two thirds (67%) of people across the survey said they have some debt that is weighing them down.

Nearly one in 10 (9%) people said they “haven’t got a clue” how much they owe in outstanding debts, rising to 16% of people aged 45 and over.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “Interest rates have risen to levels we haven’t seen since 2008 – and are expected to rise further.

“The cost of debt is now centre stage, and millions may be having to rethink their retirement plans.

“Starting to think and plan further ahead as early as possible is a small step that can make a big difference in the long term.

“Individuals can take some positive actions to reduce their debt before entering retirement, such as consolidating their debt, paying off high-interest loans or switching to a cheaper rate, alongside reducing unnecessary expenses or taking out a debt management plan.

“Also, if appropriate, people could work with a financial adviser to create a full retirement plan that takes their debt into account and ensures that they have enough income to cover their expenses and enjoy their retirement years.”

The Government-backed MoneyHelper service can help point people in the direction of free debt advice services.

People may also be able to use schemes to give them “breathing space” from their debts. Lenders can also offer different options to support people struggling with their debts.

The Government is also providing a range of cost-of-living support and more information can be found on the gov.uk website.

More than 2,000 people were surveyed in April by Censuswide for the research.