Santander has claimed the 28% of people in the UK are borrowing money to cover the cost of household bills in a typical month.
Instead of using money from their current account, Brits are borrowing £3.6 billion each month to meet the cost of gas, electricity, council tax, water and other household bills, which is equivalent to around £259 for each person borrowing money.
The research suggests that more than a million people (2%) collectively borrow £2 billion every year, or £153 each per month, from payday lenders to cover these basic monthly bills.
The most popular source for finding additional money is an overdraft, with around 17% of UK adults using this service each month to pay their bills, borrowing an average of £264 each, more than any other source.
Men are more likely to use alternative payment sources to cover bills than women, with 30% of males doing so each month compared to 26% of females. Younger bill payers are also more likely to borrow money to cover bills, with 38% of people aged 18-34 doing so, compared to just 30% of those aged 35 – 54 and 17% of over 55s.
More people in London are turning to loans to cover household bills than anywhere else in the UK, with 33% doing this in an average month. In contrast, the lowest is the North East, South West and West Midlands where just 22% are doing so.
“In an ideal world, household bills should be one of the first costs to be covered when payday arrives, but as the research highlights, this isn’t always possible,” said Reza Attar-Zadeh, banking director at Santander.
“The cost of living is going up, driven in part by the rising cost of household bills, and as a result, millions of people are regularly borrowing money to make ends meet which cannot be sustained in the long-run.
“The fact that only a third of people are regularly looking for ways to reduce their monthly bills is worrying, as there are a number of opportunities to bring these costs down that require very little effort or change.”