A survey commissioned by debt management company PayPlan has raised some interesting points of discussion concerning how we approach debt and the ways in which it affects us.

The new study has revealed that nearly two in 10 people across the UK are struggling with the likes of substance abuse and lashing out at loved ones because they aren’t willing to admit to their debt issues. The research also showed how much debt people would be in before looking to seek help, broken down to the cities with the highest averages:

1 – Birmingham: £59,832

 2 – London: £36,423

3 – Edinburgh: £19,602

4 – Liverpool: £18,739

5 – Norwich: £18,673

Worryingly, only 12% of the UK population would start to look for professional help after racking up debts of over £50,000, however a staggering 93% of us believe the UK has an issue with arrears, with a quarter of people now saying that debt is now just a part of everyday life.

Jane Clack, the money advice consultant at Payplan explains, “Debt is credit you cannot afford, really. Debt like mortgages is good debt as long as you can afford it. Think of council tax, water rates etc – if you are paying those monthly, it is in fact credit as is due on the day it is issued.

Good use of credit is another thing – do your shopping on your credit card and pay it off in full gives you interest free credit, buying your petrol and paying it off in full is good credit. It is when you are only making the minimum payments that there is room for slipping down the slope – very little but interest is paid when you just make minimum payments. Increasing by even five or ten pounds a month will repay sooner – there are lots of repayment calculators on credit card sites which can demonstrate this; The Money Saving Expert and banks like Natwest have them.”

More results from the study revealed:

– 30% of the UK population just wing their finances from month to month

– Only 5% of the UK rely on an accountant to deal with any money related queries

– More than 7% have admitted to struggling with problems at work because of debt issues

– 72.4% of people wouldn’t turn to a partner if they were dealing with money issues.

– 38.5% blame the government for the UK’s debt problem

– More than 2 in 5 of us (44.3%) have felt low when dealing with debt issues, with a third of respondents experiencing sleepless nights because of it.

Jane Clack also said, “our findings show that whilst the vast majority of us believe the UK has a problem with debt, a frightening amount of people are willing to allow their situation to become progressively worse before seeking help.

We want to convince more people to take the brave and important step of seeking help if they get into financial difficulty.