Debt: A perfect storm

Credit: Unsplash

Lois Borny, Daisy Lester, Elle Magil

Despite three quarters of Brits worrying about their finances, money is still considered a taboo in conversation. The indebted single mother feels shamed, the recently redundant office worker is embarrassed, the freelancer in credit card debt hides the fact from her closest friends.  

In the UK, 8.3million people are in “problem debt”, meaning they are unable to pay off their debts and bills – and this was before the impact of Covid-19. In this series, we will be lifting the veil on the largely hidden but deepening debt crisis, and its myriad impacts on people’s lives.  

Over the next three days, we will explore the conditions driving the debt crisis, from the perfect storm of rising rent, austerity and stagnant wages, to buy-now pay-later culture and the recent and still yet uncertain financial implications of Covid-19. And with so much financial advice out there, we’ve taken advice from financial experts on how you might identify and deal with debt, and take a more holistic approach to your spending habits, and we’ve been inspired by those who have turned their passions into lucrative side hustles. Follow on Twitter with the hashtag #ThePerfectStorm. 

Day 1:

The debt crisis: The product of the perfect storm

ELL reporter Elle Magill delves into the factors that have led to the debt crisis in the UK through data analysis, and investigates why Coronavirus has come at the worst time. 

Young, female and broke: why debt is a feminist issue

ELL reporter Daisy Lester investigates the rise of female debt, particularly amongst young women, and why this this is a pressing feminist issue.

The Covid crash: the devastating financial impact of Coronavirus

Covid-19 and the financial implications as lockdown continues is leaving hundreds of thousands of people in debt. We investigate the affect of the devastating disease on local people

Day 2:

How the Klarna generation is ‘walking blindfolded’ into debt

We look at why cost-spreading services, like Klarna and Clearpay may actually be leading you blindfolded into debt.

Coronavirus diaries: The cost of a crisis

In this unprecedented time of nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the self-employed, gig economy, and hospitality workers have been left with no income, no job, and no financial security. We talked to three of those adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. 

In debt? Could you be suffering from ‘financial PTSD’?

We interview financial wellbeing coach Catherine Morgan, who takes a holistic approach with her clients, advising them to address the underlying traumas that may be motivating their bad spending. 

Day 3:

“I paid off my debt but it landed me in hospital”

Getting out of debt can push people to their limits. One East London ex-debtor speaks about her experience of escaping life in the red.

When one job isn’t enough, it’s time for a side hustle

Need inspiration for how to make ends meet once lockdown is lifted? We speak to four successful side hustlers who found financial stability in their passions. 

The debt adviser’s guide to managing your money

We hear from the experts about how to recognise, deal with and stay out of problem debt. 

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