Research by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found 7.8 million UK adults are struggling to keep up with their bills, an increase of around 2.5 million people since 2020.
In addition, 60% of UK adults are estimated to be finding it a 'heavy burden' or 'somewhat of a burden' keeping up with bills.
One in four UK adults are in financial difficulty or could quickly find themselves in difficulty if they suffered a financial shock, and 4.2 million people have missed bills or loan payments in at least three of the six months before the survey took place.
Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumer and Competition said:
'Our research shows that people up and down the country are struggling to keep up with their bills.
'If you are facing financial difficulty, you don’t need to struggle alone. There is free debt advice available, and we have told firms that they must work with their customers to solve any problems with payment.'
The report provided key statistics:
7.8 million are finding it a heavy burden to keep up with their bills, up from 5.3m in 2020.
31.9 million people (60% of all UK adults) across the UK are finding it a heavy burden or somewhat of a burden to keep up with their bills, an increase of around 6 million people since 2020.
There has been an increase in people in financial difficulty, with 4.2 million people missing domestic bills or credit repayments in 3 or more of the last 6 months, up from 3.8 million in 2020.
12.9 million UK adults now have low financial resilience – 1 in 4 (24%) of all UK adults – and up more than 2 million on 2020 (10.7m). These are people who are in financial difficulty, or who could quickly find themselves in difficulty if they suffer a financial shock.
Adults living in the most deprived areas of the UK are nearly 7 times more likely to be in financial difficulty than those living in the least deprived areas; 27% of black people said they found it a heavy burden to keep up with bills, compared with 15% of all UK adults; 12% of people in the North East and 10% in the North West are in financial difficulty, compared with 6% in the South East and South West.