top of page

Debt Isn't a Dirty Word

What words, thoughts or emotions spring to mind when you think of the word 'debt'? For many, 'debt' brings up negative connotations but here at Freeze, we're trying to change that.

We know being in debt is never ideal but the stigma surrounding it needs to be dropped.

At the end of 2020 we set up a survey to find out the main reasons why people end up in debt, how it has affected them in their day-to-day life, who they would feel most comfortable talking to about their money problems, the barriers to discussing their debt and the taboos they would rather admit to rather than being open about their debt problems.

We surveyed 2000 people from all walks of life, the only prerequisite for taking part in the survey was that participants were currently in or previously had been in personal debt.

So, what did we find out?

Since our launch in 2019, we've chatted with and helped our users regarding their debts and financial circumstances. We've listened to their stories and got them through tough times. Yet despite being so present in the debt industry, even we were shocked by some of our findings.

Here are some stand out stats from our survey:


  • Over half of those in debt have experienced anxiety as a result

  • More than half of British people in debt would feel uncomfortable talking to their partner about debt

  • Only 1 in 5 people would feel comfortable talking to a professional debt advisor about their debt problems

  • Over 10% of people state COVID-19 as the cause of their debt


  • The coronavirus pandemic has had a bigger impact on women than men, with 13% of women citing COVID-19 as the primary reason for being in debt, compared to 10% of men

  • Men are almost twice as likely as women to have experienced financial difficulty as a result of gambling

  • 61% of females admit to feeling anxious about their debts


  • 45-54 year olds are most likely to be in debt as a result of poor budgeting

  • 25-34 year olds are most likely to struggle financially by trying to live an unrealistic lifestyle as a result of online influence

  • 35-44 year olds are most likely to have felt anxious about their debt problems


  • 40% of people who have fallen into debt in London have done so as a result of losing their job, the highest of anywhere in the UK

  • Almost 30% of people in Northern Ireland would not feel comfortable talking to anyone about their debt

  • In Yorkshire, 10% of people who have found themselves in debt have had suicidal thoughts, higher than anywhere outside of London

Download the Full Report:

We've barely scraped the surface of what we found out. To find out more stats, figures and findings, you can download our full report, where we've broken down our research into bitesized categories.

Debt Isn't a Dirty Word
Download • 593KB


About Freeze Debt

Freeze Debt is the first debt advice and solutions app helping UK users to take their first steps towards a debt-free future. Our free service provides those struggling with unmanageable debt a confidential space to speak openly about their debt and financial worries and find a suitable solution based on their personal circumstances.

Freeze Debt's in-app messaging service is a revolutionary and modern way for users to address their debts and find solutions in less than 5 minutes, compared to the traditional and uncomfortable ‘call-centre-model’ that can take an average of 45 minutes.

So far, we’ve helped clear over £30m of debt and helped many people begin their journey to a debt-free future.


bottom of page