According to data, 2.3 million UK families missed an important payment in January, up from 1.9 million in December.
The Which? Consumer Insight Tracker reports that the figure for January, when missed payments for loans, credit cards, and other bills typically reach their peak, is comparable to those from the previous two years.
Six out of ten people (59%) who participated in the monthly survey of about 2,000 people reported making at least one financial adjustment in the previous month to cover necessary expenses. This is a significant increase from the 49% in January.
Though it is still less than the September peak of 65% who made changes.
Four in ten households (38%) in January are cutting back on necessities like electricity bills, housing costs, groceries, school supplies, and medications, an increase of 11 percentage points from three in ten (27%) last January.
The director of policy and advocacy for Which?, Rocio Concha, stated: “Consumers will need more support than ever in 2023 with 2.3 million UK households missing payments in January and those on the lowest incomes being hit hardest.”
We are urging businesses in crucial industries, such as food, energy, and broadband providers, to do more to assist customers in getting a decent deal and avoiding unnecessary or unjust costs and levies as the cost-of-living crisis continues to cut into household finances.
Yonder conducts the Consumer Insight Tracker, a monthly online survey with about 2,000 respondents per wave, on Whichbehalf.