An Insight into Borrowing Habits in Britain
A recent survey has shed new light on the UK's mounting debt culture. It is widely known that Britain has developed a considerable borrowing culture over recent years, although it appears that this has happened with the majority of the population maintaining an awareness of the dangers involved - 62% claim to be reluctant borrowers, uncomfortable with the prospect of being in debt.
It is a misplaced assumption to consider this as evidence that Britain is a nation of frugal, credit wary savers. Indeed, that exactly half the population have been happy to opt for an expensive store card suggests precisely the opposite. It's hard to understand the continued popularity of these cards given the often wildly uncompetitive APRs they tend to offer; one must assume that convenience and the short term lure of shopping discounts wins out over financial sense here. The same could be said of the 42% who admit to signing up for expensive car dealership finance when opting for low-rate personal loans, unsecured loans or car loans would have been a far more cost effective choice.
Some of the most illuminating findings appear to highlight a marked disparity between men and women when it comes to borrowing - more than twice the proportion of women are tempted into the regular use of the aforementioned store cards for instance, though balancing things out somewhat is the statistic that 21% of men have been tempted into an expensive car showroom deal compared to 15% of women.
Similarly, trends can be mapped according to age groups, car finance for instance, is apparently more of a temptation for an older generation of car buyer - a mere one in fifteen under 25 year olds have opted for it compared to a fifth of over 55s. Under 25s are also far less likely to go for personal loans, only 11% relative to 40% of 35-44 year olds.
Overall, it's hard to draw any entirely satisfactory conclusions from statistics like these. If anything they highlight a degree of inconsistency; whilst people are instinctively wary of expensive borrowing in many cases, they are nonetheless tempted into ill-considered credit options. Perhaps the best advice for those looking to borrow money is to have a bit of patience and be prepared to shop around. There are certainly good deals out there and in this age of widespread internet access it should be easier than ever to find them. A quick perusal of a price comparison site can be used to compare a range of financial products. Use these before you take the plunge to work out how much you can afford to borrow and how you might spread repayments. Check out the Santander website for some competitive rates on loans .