Kensington Mortgages has found a noticeable increase in the number of people looking to consolidate their debt following increased borrowing over the festive period.
The lender said the number of people in the UK looking for ways to manage personal debt has hit a 12-month high in recent weeks, with record numbers of consumers searching for ‘debt consolidation’, ‘debt management’ and ‘consolidation of loans’ on online search engines. This trend is consistent with recent years, when online searches for debt consolidation have also peaked in January.
This rise in the number of people looking to streamline their finances follows directly on from the festive period, with the amount owed on credit cards in December 2015 up 1.4% on November, and 2.4% on the same period in 2014.
According to The Money Charity, more money was borrowed over the 2015 Christmas period than any other year since the height of the credit crunch in 2008. The same research found the total credit card debt in November 2015 amounted to £63.1bn – equating to £2,336 per household.
Remortgaging has become an increasingly popular way for consumers to overhaul their finances, with 29,300 remortgage loans taken out in November 2015, a 24% increase from November 2014.
Steve Griffiths, head of sales and distribution at Kensington, said: “Remortgaging is a hot topic at the moment as speculation continues to rumble on about the date of a potential rate rise. But advisers shouldn’t let the macro-economic debate distract their focus from their clients’ individual circumstances.
“Trends data from search engines gives us an up-to-date barometer of the interests and concerns of the nation, and it is clear that now is a time when many people are looking to reduce their monthly outgoings.
“This presents an opportunity for advisers to work with new and existing clients to address their financial concerns and assess the options available to them while we remain in a low rate environment.”