Yorkshire residents have most unsecured debt
Yorkshire and Humberside residents have the most unsecured debt in the UK, at £3,838 on average.
Londoners follow closely behind with £3,820, according to research from comparison site GoCompare.
Those living in the East owe the least, however, with an average unsecured debt of around £2,200 per adult.
UK adults on average have around £3,200 in unsecured debts, with men typically owing around 16% more than women.
The research revealed nearly one in two (48%) Brits owe more than £500 in unsecured debt, including personal loans, car finance, unpaid credit and store cards and overdrafts.
One in four (24%) owe between £501 and £10,000, while 9% have borrowed more than £10,000.
Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com's banking and credit card expert, said: "Debt used carefully can be a useful part of your financial planning, helping to spread the cost of major purchases. And, if you settle your bill at the end of each month, credit cards give you access to interest free, shore-term, flexible borrowing and provide you with extra protection on the good you buy."
However, he warned that overspending on credit cards is a common way to end up in debt. He pointed out if you only make the minimum repayment at the end of the month, your debt only increases, due to interest.
On a debt of £3,250, if you were only to make the minimum repayment it could take up to 30 years to clear the debt, he said.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.