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One in 10 families with children ‘turning to friends and relatives for loans’

Some 10% of families with children have been taking on informal loans by borrowing money from relatives and friends, comparethemarket.com said.

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18% of people generally said they had struggled financially over the past seven days (PA)

18% of people generally said they had struggled financially over the past seven days (PA)

18% of people generally said they had struggled financially over the past seven days (PA)

One in 10 families with children living at home are turning to friends and relatives to help them make ends meet, a survey has found.

Almost three in 10 (29%) families with children said they had struggled to pay bills over the past week, according to comparethemarket.com’s latest household financial confidence tracker.

This compares with 18% of people generally who said they had struggled financially over the past seven days.

The survey, carried out between May 15 and 17, found 10% of families with children at home have been taking on informal loans by borrowing money from relatives and friends, while another 10% said they have had to take out an additional credit card or personal loan.

Over a third (34%) of families with children said they had needed to increase their household spending beyond normal levels in the week they were surveyed, compared to 28% of those without children at home.

Despite the Government and many companies offering freezes or holidays on bills and debt repayments, this does not seem to be enough for families who have seen their income decreaseAnna McEntee, comparethemarket.com

Families with children were also more likely to have used their rainy day savings to meet rising costs.

Nearly three in 10 (28%) had dipped into savings to keep on top of their household finances, compared with 21% of households without children at home.

A quarter (25%) of families with children at home said they wanted to see the Government ask financial services companies to take further measures to help protect their finances.

Lenders have previously announced measures including payment holidays on loans and temporary interest-free overdraft buffers of up to £500. People may also find they can get a partial refund on their insurance if they find their usual habits, such as the use of their car, have changed under the lockdown.

Anna McEntee, product director at comparethemarket.com, said: “Households with younger families at home are clearly struggling to make ends meet, as the financial pressure as a result of the lockdown shows no sign of reducing.

“Despite the Government and many companies offering freezes or holidays on bills and debt repayments, this does not seem to be enough for families who have seen their income decrease.”

The survey of over 2,000 people across the UK also found a continued reluctance to visit public places.

More than half (53%) said they do not wish to visit public places, up from 48% last week and 43% the week before.

The main reason for the hesitancy, given by 46% in the latest survey, is that they would not feel in control of their surroundings and would therefore not enjoy themselves.

Among households with access to a car, only 12% said they were likely to go on a drive, for example to the countryside or the beach, at some point during the upcoming bank holiday weekend.

A quarter (25%) of those surveyed said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap for easing the lockdown and gradually reopening the economy had made them less confident about their financial situation.

One in seven (13%) said it made them feel more confident and just over six in 10 (61%) said it made no difference to their outlook.

PA