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Britons happy with their level of debt - poll

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Apr 19 (Reuters) The vast majority of Britons are happy with their level of borrowing and confident about paying their bills on time, according to a new index of consumer confidence issued today.

The Personal Credit Index, produced by credit monitoring service CreditExpert, revealed that 75 per cent of British borrowers were ''comfortable'' with their current level of debt.

Furthermore 85 per cent of adults were confident they would be able to pay household and credit card bills on time while keeping up with any loan or mortgage repayments.

The survey is released just two days after another poll for debt consultants One Advice found on Monday that almost two million people in Britain owe more than 10,000 pounds on credit cards, overdrafts or other unsecured loans.

Today's research, based on an Ipsos Mori poll of 2,000 Britons, found that consumer confidence was high with 32 per cent of borrowers expecting to reduce their level of debt compared with 11 per cent who predicted an increase.

Seven out of 10 ''financially confident'' borrowers, whose debts have decreased in the last six months, also expected the amount they owed to reduce even further in the coming months.

However, Londoners, faced with high housing costs, were less optimistic than the rest of the country, with a net confidence rating of 47 per cent.

The next lowest region was the West Midlands with 70 per cent, while the figure for the South West was 91 per cent.

''It's important that we keep track of our credit commitments to ensure we're borrowing within our means and are aware of any changes to our credit report that could impact our future borrowing power,'' said Jim Hodgkins, managing director of CreditExpert, the online monitoring service from information company Experian.

REUTERS SC PM0517

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