More high-income earners relying on overdrafts

17 August 2011

The soaring cost of living has caused a 100% increase in overdraft borrowing among wealthy families, according to Experian.

Its latest research shows the number of high-income earners in their thirties and forties who are dependent on their overdraft has doubled since 2008, with one in three now relying on their overdrafts.

Some 47% in this group have also applied for extra credit in the past two years.

For the research those families classed as "high-income" had an average annual income of 72,648 or more.

Pressure on UK households

The level of consumer prices inflation rose again in July to 4.4% - over double the Bank of England’s target of 2% - and this is putting further pressure on the purse strings of UK households.

Soaring prices of energy, petrol and everyday basics have hit households hard and while many workers are facing pay freezes, household incomes are falling in real terms.

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Peter Turner, managing director at Experian, says UK families often rely on their overdraft to get by, but that is not always the best option. 

"Many of us choose to borrow, but it’s where you borrow from that makes all the difference," he says.

If you do need to borrow money, relying on your overdraft might not be the best option. Moneywise recommends you shop around and look for the best credit cards and personal loans on the market.

For example, using a credit card with a 0% balance transfer period will reduce the amount of interest you will pay on your debt.

For a round-up of the top credit cards on the market check out our guide.

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