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Millions use overdraft every month

This news post is over 6 years old

A debt charity has called for action to be taken to help those who are constantly in the red

More than two million Britons are stuck in a cycle of vicious borrowing, a charity has revealed.

A new report – entitled Stuck in the Red – by StepChange has shown the levels of people stuck in debt in the UK.

The study found more than 2.1 million people used their overdraft every month in 2016, with the charity’s clients owing an average of £1,722.

A number of those questioned described being given significant overdraft limits relative to their income, which made it very difficult to escape from their debts once they’d fallen behind.

Peter Tutton, head of policy at StepChange, said: “Overdrafts are one of the most common credit products used in the UK. They are meant to be short-term, but our evidence shows that they can all too easily trap people in expensive and long-term cycles of persistent debt.

“Fundamental reform is needed. There has been positive action from some banks to make charging structures clearer and to abolish unarranged overdraft charges. We know that there is some good practice when it comes to the treatment of people with overdraft debt that can be built upon.”