According to a recent study conducted by the Debt Advisory Centre, over 50% of single mothers are struggling with the negative repercussions of debt compared with less than one-third of married women. Women overall were shown by the study as being negatively impacted by debt.
One-third of women reported that their low income regularly failed to meet their living costs and that they turned to credit and loans to meet the payments. They then reported that they fell up to several months behind on payments and that the situation soon became unmanageable.
The pay gap
Women have widely been reported as receiving lower pay than men. It had been argued for a time that this was because they chose industries and jobs that were lower paid; however, this has now been amended, with many women paid considerably less than men to do an identical job. The breakdown of a relationship, becoming a mother and ill health were all reported as causes of going into arrears, along with more controllable factors such as failing to budget appropriately.
Single mothers are one of the demographics most likely to be impacted by debt, with the impact physical in addition to economic. A staggering two-thirds of single mothers experiencing problematic debt experienced mental health issues and up to one-third of the women questioned named their finances as their greatest anxiety in their lives, above their work, family or health.
A criticism of women experiencing debt had occasionally been that they were more likely to spend on luxury items such as clothing or holidays; however, the most widely-reported reasons for borrowing money were to meet rent, utility bills and even food costs. Interestingly, the BBC reported on a study showing that although men are statistically more likely to become bankrupt, women are more likely to seek help.
Options such as an IVA are intended to increase the manageability and transparency of multiple sources of debt. There are other solutions available for those sitting on equity in their properties but not enough disposable income. This should always be discussed with a professional Equity Release Gloucestershire company such as www.palmermortgages.co.uk/financial-services/equity-release-gloucestershire/ to make sure that it is the right choice for the client.
It is widely reported that families and individuals who seek advice in the early stages of debt are far more likely to avert a crisis than those who allow the problem to develop.